Women’s History Month – Leading the Next Generation

For Women’s History Month, Options wants to highlight some of the outstanding women in our community who are dedicated to spreading awareness about domestic and sexual violence.

Sue Ann Tebo has been teaching at for 32 years. Her classes at Hays High School include Family Studies, Life Management, Culinary Arts, and Career Connections. She regularly invites outside organizations to speak to her classes about life skills and how to navigate in the “real world” – including Options.

“The students really gain valuable information that they can use for their entire life,” she said.  “I am all about life skills and how to utilize those skills.”

Tebo believes promoting healthy relationships within her classroom is imperative for her students.

“It is important. It is needed. I firmly believe in educational practices to help promote healthy relationship behaviors and respect among adolescents,” she said. “I truly believe that the exposure to these situations has made an enormous impact. I have had many students tell me how much this information and exposure has helped them in their own relationships.”

Helping others in potentially abusive relationships is another impact that Tebo says these discussions have had on her classes.

“They have also explained how they were able to help other people who are not in healthy relationships,” she said. “This is what it’s all about — using the skills that you are given to help yourself and others. The students are able to identify red flags and understand what needs to be done if a person is in an unhealthy relationship.  Exposure to this information is vital in helping students to know and understand what is healthy and what is not healthy.”

One of the most impactful facts that Tebo says she has learned through working with Options and other organizations is that domestic and sexual violence truly do not discriminate.

“This affects people of all ages—babies through elderly.  Many times, I don’t think others realize this at all.  This is very impactful,” she said. “Options has been an incredible resource for all of us.  My students share the information with their friends and family—it becomes widespread.  We want the world to know about healthy relationships!”

Tebo has been instrumental in helping to create the Options Student Advisory Board, a group of Hays High School students who regularly meet to discuss how to spread awareness of issues surrounding domestic and sexual violence to other high schoolers. The Student Advisory Board has created a Teen Safety Plan, participated in Chalk About Love, helped with the What Were You Wearing art installation, and is in the process of hosting a bake sale for the Spring Art Walk in Hays.

“I am so very proud of the group of students who are actively engaged on the Options Advisory Board,” she said. “They have come up with some incredible ideas and have shown strong passion for this. This is exactly what we need—teens to help spread the word and share ideas and be involved.”

Tebo says that she wants her students to always know that there are resources to help them if they are ever in a situation that is unsafe.

“I want students to know that there is always help available,” she said. “There is always a way out.  They deserve to be treated with respect. I want them to know how they can get the help they need whether it is the student or someone that they know who needs the help.”

Keep up with Options blog posts during March to see more stories of women leadership in the field of advocacy.

If you need any additional information, have a question, or a concern, feel free to reach out to Options at our 24-hour toll-free helpline 800-794-4624. You can also reach an advocate via text by texting HOPE to 847411 or click 24-Hour Chat with Options.

Written by Anniston Weber