On Consent – In a Seventh Grade Classroom

Nicole Lyons – Teach the boys, or else

Nicole Lyons

Hey, you!
The mom of that
twelve-year-old boy
who leers like some
fifty-year-old drunken uncle.

Start teaching him
that no means no.


You should have been
teaching him this already.

Teach him that consent
is as real
as the shoes on his feet
and the laces he
ties in double-knots.

Teach him that girls
are not for beating
and his slick and sick
little hormonal urges
do not, and should not
ever dictate his life.

Teach him about respect,
for women and for himself,
and how both are needed
for him to navigate life.

Teach him compassion,
show him what it is like
to empathize with another.

Don’t ever tell him that
his hurt or his want
or any need he has
is more or means more
than someone else’s.


You owe this to him.
You owe this to the…

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