County officials ready to address students
Thursday’s special Teton High School assembly to address sex assault continues to take shape this week.
Teton High School principal Samuel Zogg announced on Friday that the assembly would include both male and female students after first informing parents in an email that the assembly would separate out genders.
Teton County Prosecutor Billie Siddoway wrote in an email to the Teton Valley News on Friday morning that, in her initial meeting with school personnel, “we identified some examples where male offenders did not seem to understand that they were breaking the law or the severity of the legal consequences. One purpose of the presentation could be to address these boys, but I thought that the prevention message was appropriate for everyone. I had the impression that the school wanted to separate the boys, and so I suggested that the girls could be addressed separately.”
“My goal wasn’t to segregate genders, but to see that both male and female students receive the message in some form,” Siddoway added in the email. “But I can see how the principal may have thought that I wanted separate assemblies.”
Heading into Thursday’s assembly Siddoway offered a glimpse into what she and Juvenile Probation Officer Renee Liedorf would be discussing at the all-school assembly. She and Liedorf plan to cover eight points including issues around intoxication, sexting (texting with sexual overtones), and consent.
The presentation, said Siddoway, is in response to increasing trends in sexual violence in Teton County including recent numbers that suggest locally, sexual violence has increased for times the national average.
The assembly will take place in the high school auditorium at 2:40 p.m. on Thursday and parents are welcome, said Zogg. He asked that parents come a little earlier to sign in at the Main Office. The assembly has been allotted about 35 minutes and will include a presentation by the high school robotics team to open the assembly. A question and answer session with the student body will follow Siddoway and Liedorf’s presentation and an introduction to the high school mentoring program will follow the Q&A.
Zogg wrote in an email to parents on Friday, “We wanted to start a discussion about social issues (for example, peer pressure, setting boundaries, and respect) along with other resources available in our community, such as Family Safety Network. The presentation will end with members of the THS Voice Program providing information on how to get support and about helping each other.”