DA’s Bring Gravity to Consent Lesson


Arjun Chhabra

Contra Costa County District Attorneys spoke to the students of Human Social Development (HSD) classes about consent and sexual assault during the week of December 10. It corresponded to the sex education HSD students have been learning about for the past month, including the concept of consent.

According to HSD teacher Erin Cody, this approach to introducing the concept of consent to health students is more effective than others. “I think it is important that you get quality information from people who are experts in the field,” she said.

For sophomore Jacob Tabibian, the DA’s presence gave the unit more context and gravity than a slideshow. “It kind of shows you the real environment and consent and how it can affect your entire life. It was a legal thing t0o, that can affect your life if you do not do it right,” he said.

Devon Bell, 1 of the Deputy DAs for Contra Costa County and a sexual assault prosecutor, said that the consent education is an essential component of preventing sexual assault because there can be a lot of misinformation about what exactly consent looks like.

In fact, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.

The lesson is crucial to decreasing the number of sexual assaults. “The more education there is about what constitutes consent and what doesn’t, the better able people are able to stop sexual assaults and recognize them before they happen. So it is really about prevention,” said Bell.

According to Cody, her primary goal was to provide a clearer understanding to her students as to what consent means. “I hope that a lot of the ‘grey area’ questions were answered by people who know. I think it is important that we treat this as a serious issue. Yes means yes,” she said.