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Lynn School Committee talks violence prevention

LYNN — More than 30 students at Lynn English High School have been trained to be mentors in violence prevention by the North Shore Rape Crisis Center, and School Committee members want to see the program expand.

Located on Central Avenue in Lynn, North Shore Rape Crisis Center provides services to sexual assault survivors 12 years old and older across the North Shore. State-funded services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, group counseling for assault survivors, and medical and legal advocacy.

The organization also provides educational workshops for colleges, high schools, and professionals, said Ross Steinborn, education and outreach specialist.

More than 30 students chose to participate in classes at Lynn English High School, and four students have since expressed interest in remaining involved with the organization’s work, he said.

“Essentially, we can collaborate with the kids who went through the training and see what they want to see in their school,  said Cindy Su, a teen and young adult educator and bilingual counselor. “We met with 30 students and they were all trained in this three-day, eight-hour curriculum.”

They then partnered with six health classes at Lynn English to supplement curriculum on healthy relationships and consent education.

“We have our own curriculum that we’re going to continue to develop,” said Steinborn.

School Committee member Maria Carrasco said she would like to see the program expanded to include more schools, particularly the city’s middle schools.

“It sounds like a wonderful partnership,” said School Committee member Jared Nicholson. “I think it would be great to see us doing this in more schools. We know how prevalent this issue is and we’re hearing more and more about it at the higher education level. Of course the best way to deal with these sort of problems is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Again, we turn to the public schools to be able to reach those kids at the most important times and to help steer them away from those issues.”

In addition to the work in Lynn, the center has been successfully working with schools across the North Shore teaching consent education.

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