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Marriage Enters Halifax County Classrooms

Posted October 4, 2007
Updated October 5, 2007

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— Students at three Halifax high schools are learning about healthy relationships in a course educators hope will reduce the rates of divorces, single-parent households and domestic violence.

A $550,000 federal grant funded the course to teach students how to develop strong relationships and healthy marriages based on mutuality and respect. The course is being taught at Weldon, Northwest Halifax and Southeast Halifax high schools.

In 2006, nearly 65,000 people were married in North Carolina, and more than half that number were divorced, according to the N.C. Center for Health Statistics.

"Having been married before, you're in for a lot of surprises, and you need to know how to deal with that emotionally," Harriett Walker, with Weldon City schools, said.

A large part of the course focuses on teaching students how to handle emotions. Students are asked they would deal with unwanted attention, rejection and self-esteem.

The course is part of the Healthy Marriage Demonstration Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The N.C. portion of the grant is being administered by the Raleigh-based CJH Educational Grant Services, Inc.

Warren County schools has also applied to CJH for a grant to fund a similar course.

Physical education teacher Charlie Vernon said he knows a lot of educators statewide have their eyes on the course, which he heads at Weldon High.

"This is something new. I have people calling me, asking me about the program, so I have to stay up-to-date with what's going on," Vernon said.

He said students are taking an active interest in the subject matter. Ninth-grader Jakia Davis seems to have learned the message of communication that the course is designed to impart.

"When I first started the class, it was kind of hard to express myself, but now, it's easy," she said.


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  • notaproblem Oct 5, 2007

    You know if the values of what constitutes a good marriage would be taught at home by parents then schools could use this money in another area... books, paper, etc. - all those things that teachers have to buy out of their own pockets.

  • notaproblem Oct 5, 2007

    wralfan- your soul is in the hands of that "sky fairy", I hope He has mercy on you

  • kevlargirl2 Oct 5, 2007

    Frankly if they have to start teaching respect for others including their peers in school so be it. I am dunbfounded by how many parents just let their kids have their own computers, cell phones, privacy and than when something happens they say we just didn't know! If it takes the school stepping in to help give these kids a better sence of self-esteem for themselves it will pay off in the end. Why must everyone always get off on their little tangents? This is about teaching kids self-respect, and respect for others, not about religion. Unfortunatley State and Religion can not be mixed, but if these kids walk away with a better understanding of how to treat one another than God Bless something worked! Stay on focus people!!!

  • ++Ajax++ Oct 5, 2007

    boy my keyboard is messed up.

  • ++Ajax++ Oct 5, 2007

    wralfan, the last line nthe declaration of independence states:
    " And the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of of Divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. Exactly what do you think Divine providence is?Also if you read the first lineit states: ..." the separate and equal station to which laws of nature and of natures GOD entitles them". Thak you and good day.

  • pleshy Oct 5, 2007

    Alimony is available only in the case of a dependent spouse, i.e.a spouse who has no income or makes siginificantly less than the other spouse. If your spouse doesn't have a job, that is your fault, or a choice you made, in making him or her a dependent spouse. Anybody who thinks child support is only for gold diggers has never really looked at the CS guidelines. Yuo can't support a child on that pittance.

  • wralfan Oct 4, 2007

    This country was not founded on god (or any other sky fairy)... hence the reason the letters g-o-d do not appear anywhere in the US Constitution.

    Maybe we need to be spending this money on civics lessons and US History... for adults.

  • NZ Oct 4, 2007

    If we spare the rod, we'll get more same old same old, right Judge Manning? Just come on right out with it Judge, West Charlotte and many others on your list were great schools when big metro utilized it. Check your history ground some courage more than just shouting at the schools, force change the way it needs to be done.

  • NZ Oct 4, 2007

    I hope they are teaching them about the financial liabilities of divorce, child support and alimony based on these ludicrous laws in NC which benefit GOLDDIGGERS.

  • gratefultoGOD Oct 4, 2007

    We need to teach at home! I am so disapointed in society. Kids think that getting married is for later in life.. but just have babies now for goverment $$.. What a sad way to see how you were perceived as entering the world. Get rid of goverment baby $$.. and teach respect for yourself.. and GOD>> Did you all forget GOD.. Marriage was HIS idea... HE invented it.. KEEP HIM IN IT!!!!!! YES>> THAT IS RIGHT>> I SAID GOD.. the Father of JESUS>>> THAT GOD! Beleve what you like.. but that is what this country was founded on+++