Designed for 14-15 year old boys.
Consisting of two parts. Part one, a 2019 Netflix film, “Unbelievable”. Part two, this lengthy essay by Tom Junod and Paula LaVigne that went live on ESPN’s website Monday morning. In ESPN’s words it is “the untold story of the most dangerous player in college football history”.
The film will stay with you. The essay is similarly unforgettable. The essay is the most difficult and disturbing piece of work I have ever recommended to you. And among the most important, especially for adolescent males. Not that it was their motivation, but Junod and LaVigne will win many awards for it.
This curriculum doesn’t assume that 14-15 year old boys will commit acts of sexual violence. It’s intended to sensitize them to the experience of female victims of sexual violence. To the point that they hold their male friends and acquaintances accountable for any acts of sexual violence and become allies with their female friends and acquaintances in myriad, related ways.
Some may protest it’s not the role of schools to do “character education”. Fine. Provide proof that you’ve watched the film and read the essay with your son(s) and discussed their reactions to both and you can be excused from the school-based version for students whose parents can’t or won’t teach the curriculum.
This curriculum will not eliminate sexual violence, but it has the potential to reduce it.