Student Well-Being Interactive

Map: Does Your State Require Education on Teen Dating Violence?

By Caitlynn Peetz & Laura Baker — May 11, 2023 1 min read
Close crop of two teens from the chest down, sitting on a wall holding hands
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

School is where young people spend so much time during their formative years, often cultivating their first romantic relationships. So, it’s a logical place for students to learn about the qualities of a healthy relationship and the signs of relationship abuse.

But not every state requires that schools teach their students about healthy relationships and teen dating violence, which can have lifelong consequences. Experts say that such education is critical to combating and preventing abuse in youth relationships.

As of June 2022, 37 states and the District of Columbia, had at least one law addressing teen dating violence in secondary schools. But the requirements vary greatly from state to state, according to a National Institutes of Health report and research in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

See Also

High school couple holding hands from behind and walking down an empty school corridor

Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia require prevention education, and nine states simply encourage the effort. Fewer than half of those with laws (14) required districts to develop a districtwide policy addressing teen dating violence, 10 dedicated funding for violence prevention programs and policies, and 12 outlined explicit consequences for not complying with the laws.

Some of those states require education for students only, while others also require education for school staff and parents, or some combination of the three groups. One state, New Hampshire, has a requirement that applies to school staff only, with training focused on signs to watch for that a student might be in a toxic relationship and when and how to intervene.

Thirteen states as of last June still had no mandate written into law that would require schools to address teen dating violence.

“This is an issue that is relevant to 100 percent of young people,” said Megan Shackleton, chief program officer for the One Love Foundation, a nonprofit that teaches youth about healthy relationships and relationship abuse. “So many young people are going to experience unhealthy behaviors, and they need this education.”

Below is a breakdown of state requirements for teen dating violence education:


Budget & Finance Webinar Leverage New Funding Sources with Data-Informed Practices
Address the whole child using data-informed practices, gain valuable insights, and learn strategies that can benefit your district.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
ChatGPT & Education: 8 Ways AI Improves Student Outcomes
Revolutionize student success! Don't miss our expert-led webinar demonstrating practical ways AI tools will elevate learning experiences.
Content provided by Inzata
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Tech Is Everywhere. But Is It Making Schools Better?
Join us for a lively discussion about the ways that technology is being used to improve schools and how it is falling short.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion Art Can Be Transformational, Even If You're Not 'Artistic'
Encouraging students to create art is important, even if it's in the form of humming or crafting mood boards.
Susan Magsamen
1 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Student Well-Being In This District, Students Are Part of the Mental Health Response
Lack of transportation, unreliable internet and other barriers can sometimes make it hard to find mental health care in rural settings.
5 min read
Hands holding a monochromatic head shaped puzzle of a classroom with three colorful pieces of green grass, sunshine, and trees floating around the puzzle . Mental health concept.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week (Images: iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Student Well-Being How Principals Can Help Support Students Through a Mental Health Crisis
Principals know the challenges—and can help with solutions.
5 min read
mental health 182746825
Student Well-Being Chaplains Could Work as School Counselors Under Bill Passed in Texas
Critics see the measure as a continuation of the erosion of the concept of separating church from state.
3 min read
This June 1, 2021, file photo shows the State Capitol in Austin, Texas.
This June 1, 2021, file photo shows the State Capitol in Austin, Texas.
Eric Gay/AP