Recap: Creating a Culture of Consent

Gracia Hmelar and Amy Lin

Renowned life coach Anea Bogue returned to speak about consent and sexual assault prevention at Palo Alto High School this week. She hopes to create an environment that is able to have discussions of consent and sexual relationships, aiming to create a culture of consent, through informative assemblies she is holding at Palo Alto High School this week. 

While her presentations to the 9th, 10th, 11th, graders on Wednesday (She presents to seniors this afternoon) were very similar to her presentations last year, this year’s presentations featured more student-requested “quiz games,” which called for students to step onto the stage and discuss various possible sexual assault scenarios. Bogue’s scenarios were inclusive of all sexualities and identities, as several of her scenarios featured homosexuality and various personal pronouns.

Bogue built upon her previous presentation from last year, telling two stories of high school sexual assault cases in the United States. Bogue also described various types of sex-related crimes, from sexual coercion to child pornography. She also delineated what consent looks and doesn’t look like, supported by the video “Wanna have Sex? (Consent 101),” by Youtuber Laci Green.

“Consent needs to be normalized and condoned in popular culture, in order to tear down the taboo revolving around it,” Bogue said.

Upstanding bystanders were also a focus of Bogue’s presentation. Bogue described the appropriate course of action to take when someone else is being targeted, or when a sexual assault survivor reaches out for help.

“Some things that supportive bystanders can say are: ‘I believe you,’ ‘It’s not your fault,’ ‘I’m here to support you,’” Bogue said. [Being an upstanding bystander is] being the best version of ourselves when someone is acting like their worst self.”

There will be Q&A debrief session at the Wellness Center at 2:05 p.m. today, in the Wellness Center, for further discussion and clarification of the presentation.