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Burrton Students Learn About Teen Dating Violence

Posted 12/14/2017

By Jared JanzenFRESHMEN Keili Leibman, Caden Rimbey and Laryssa Stahl and long with sophomore Shane Stocks were some of the FCCLA students who organized a high school assembly where Dr. Christie Brungardt, far left, came and spoke about preventing teen dating violence.FRESHMEN Keili Leibman, Caden Rimbey and Laryssa Stahl and long with sophomore Shane Stocks were some of the FCCLA students who organized a high school assembly where Dr. Christie Brungardt, far left, came and spoke about preventing teen dating violence.

BURRTON—Teen dating violence is on the rise across the United States, according to Christie Brungardt, one of the co-founders of a campaign to spread awareness on unhealthy relationships and domestic violence.

Brungardt was at Burrton High School Monday afternoon talking to teens about warning signs of unhealthy dating relationships.

Brungardt shared with students the story of her daughter, Jana, who was a victim to domestic violence in 2008 when she was murdered by an ex-boyfriend. Jana had a degree in women’s studies, had done volunteer work with other victims of domestic violence and had spent three years as an activist on these issues at the Kansas state government.

Brungardt said if an advocate and expert on these issues like her daughter could become a victim, then that was a sign that it truly could happen to anyone. She added that victims aren’t always women—men are on the receiving end of domestic violence too.

Brungardt and her husband, Kurt, founded Jana’s Campaign a year after Jana’s death as a way to educate others about warning signs of unhealthy relationships. She listed some of these signs for students at Burrton during Monday’s assembly. These include things like threats, name-calling, harming one’s self-worth, stalking, or other forms of emotional abuse like isolating their partner from friends and family, coercing them to do things they didn’t want to or being jealous.

Students were urged to talk to a parent or trusted adult if they or someone they knew were in an unhealthy relationship.

Brungardt had been invited to the school by students in Dana Kreie’s FCCLA class. Kreie said her students had been looking for ways to advocate for safe dating habits and she had heard of Brungardt through FCCLA events.