For the second year in a row, MCPF is proud to support the Choose Respect Montgomery initiative. Our 2019 commitment to the program supports both the Expect Respect classroom training for 8th through 12th graders in our county and also the Choose Respect conference for 6th through 12th grade students.
Started in 2009, Choose Respect Montgomery is a public-private partnership between our Montgomery County government, law enforcement, students, teachers, and administrators, and community organizations. The initiative's mission is to promote respect in dating relationships and to raise community awareness about the prevalence of teen dating violence. Teen dating abuse is a pattern of physically, sexually, verbally, and/or emotionally abusive or controlling behavior in a dating relationship. One in three teens in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse.
MCPF's support for the year-round Expect Respect program, enables free 45-minute interactive presentations for school classes or after school groups for 13- through 18-year-old youth. The training program is approved by Montgomery County Public Schools, and expects to have over 2,500 participants in 2019. During the sessions, youth learn about dating violence, warning signs, and how to help a friend and about the resources available to get help. The training is available in English and Spanish.
On April 7, 2019, MCPF board members joined hundreds of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other resource organizations at the Choose Respect Montgomery conference. Middle- and high-schoolers listened to a survivor and they participated in workshops and networked with other students.
A highlight of every year's conference is the public service announcement video contest. Students from various schools produced videos and competed for votes from their peers via social media. This year, 17,000 participants reviewed and voted on each of the student videos. Winners were honored with prize awards at a luncheon held on April 14, 2019. The winning videos are on the Choose Respect Montgomery’s website.