WW ’18: MVP presents to juniors


Credit: WSPN

MVP, Mentors in Violence Prevention, spoke to the juniors during Winter Week.

Caroline Lampert and Andrew D'Amico

During Winter Week, Mentors in Violence Prevention, also known as MVP, gave an hour-long presentation to all WHS juniors. The presentation was led by the MVP club.

MVP is a semester-long course taught to WHS juniors that focuses on preventing domestic violence and abusive relationships. During this course, students learn about general societal topics such as gender stereotypes and sexism as well as more specific situations such as domestic violence. The goals of the course are to teach students how to recognize unhealthy relationships, how to effectively remove themselves from an unhealthy relationship and how to help someone who is in an unhealthy relationship.

Along with the course is an MVP club, which is spearheaded by seniors who have taken the course, advisers Rachel Hanks and Scott Parseghian, and the entire WHS Wellness department.

Senior Sean Devlin got involved in MVP because he thought joining the club would be a good way to help people that might not be able to help themselves.

“One of my goals was to become more knowledgeable about [domestic violence], which I think I have achieved. Another goal of mine would be if I ever saw something like this happening, to know how to really stand up to it, help and be an upstander, not a bystander,” Devlin said.

The MVP club focuses on educating students around the school about unhealthy relationships as well as being a resource for students to access if they have questions or concerns about a relationship they are in or one that somebody they know is in.

The Winter Week presentation focused on topics: the signs of an unhealthy relationship, the signs of a healthy relationship, domestic violence, what to do if you are in an unhealthy relationship, what to do if you are witnessing an unhealthy relationship and where to go if you have questions or concerns about dating violence and abuse.

“We meet once a week on Thursday mornings and in the little meeting in the morning we talk about what’s next for us, whether it’s a presentation in front of the whole junior class or if it’s a presentation in front of a few advisories,” senior MVP club member Ian Reilly said. “[We talk about] how to get the word out about MVP and our message. Other things we do out of school are candlelight vigils at different high schools to raise awareness for dating violence and domestic violence.”

MVP members stated that they feel dating violence is a very important topic in our society and that they believe it is important for all students in the United States to learn about the topics that MVP covers.

“I think it is very important to have [an MVP club]; you always want the people that are willing to go the extra mile because those are the right people to ask for help,” Devlin said. “The teachers can’t see everything, so it is very important to have a student body MVP club. Wayland High School is the only school in Massachusetts that actually teaches MVP to everyone in the school –everyone takes [the class] junior year.”

“I definitely see a lot more happening within the school now that I am aware of different warning signs and everything,” senior MVP club member Kayla Mabe said. “I am able to help my friends and help everyone around the community and teach others about domestic violence.”

After taking the class this year, juniors can apply to be selected for the MVP club. These juniors will replace the current seniors and will become leaders and resources to help teach other students about unhealthy relationships, domestic violence and abuse.