Children who see domestic violence at home often face struggles in the classroom. In turn, it can affect their behavior and grades. But a local judge hopes to get ahead of the domestic violence issue by educating students about the topic.
These conversations are taking place at Moody High School. This week, nearly 1,600 students, like sophomore Bennie Aranda, got a crash course on domestic violence.
“Some people don’t know what it actually is,” Aranda said. “I didn’t know exactly what domestic violence was.”
Judge Inna Klein, who oversees domestic violence cases in Nueces County, briefed students on what domestic violence is and where it takes place, where to find resources if you’re a victim or know a victim, and what the punishment is if you’re an abuser.
She says a conversation like this hit close to home for many students listening.
“I get chills just thinking about it,” said Judge Klein. “I see it, I can feel it, I can see the questions on their faces.”
She also says a topic like this is important to talk about especially at a young age.
“By the time they find their way into the courthouse, it’s too late,” said Judge Klein. “You have to reach them before there is a problem, before they are charged, before they are the victims.”
Now, these students who may see their own classmates struggling know how to help one another in a time of need.
“I know some of my friends, they have gone through that kind of stuff with their parents, and they come to school not knowing what to do,” said Aranda.
“Now I know, more or less, what to talk to them about, and point them in the right direction to resolve the problem because they need someone,” Aranda added.
This was the first time Judge Klein discussed domestic violence with students. She hopes other schools and districts will invite her to talk to their students as well. Her office phone number is (361) 888-0463.