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By on May 30, 2010

Barbara Ball on Understanding School Policies

Barbara Ball

Understanding School Prevention Policies


  1. Identify common elements of school policy for dating violence prevention
  2. Identify and illustrate strategies to promote healthy relationships and a positive school climate
  3. Identify school and community collaborations to increase support for teen dating violence prevention.


There has been a flurry of activity in the past three years to pass state laws requiring schools to develop policy addressing teen dating violence. Policies seek to influence the school as a system and to effect change in social norms and individual behaviors. We will discuss strengths and weaknesses of existing state laws and school policies and highlight strategies that link teen dating violence prevention with promoting a positive school climate. Involving youth and parents as leaders and advocates for prevention should be a critical component in working toward school policy. Bridging silos and linking healthy relationships to physical, sexual, social and emotional health is another important consideration for building broad support for prevention.

Bio: Barbara Ball, Ph.D: Barbara joined the staff of SafePlace in 2003. She directs the evaluation of Expect Respect, provides program training, and was the primary author of the Expect Respect program manual published in 2008. Barbara is also serving as the Project Director for Start Strong Austin building community collaborations for promoting healthy teen relationships and preventing teen dating abuse. Start Strong Austin is one of 11 sites funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Start Strong Initiative. Barbara earned an M.A. in Art Therapy and a Ph.D. in Art Education from New York University.

The recording of Barbaras' expert presentation session is here [rec] 

Other material are at the following links:

Text Chat: [pdf]

Slides: [pdf]

References: [pdf]

Citation regarding the positive impact of teen dating violence prevention programs on school achievement: [pdf]


The recording of the report out on Understanding School Policies is here [PDF].

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