Juniors visit teen dating violence panel


Junior Barbara Castillo alongside Lindsey Lunares and Luis Munoz on the panel. They were asked questions ranging from preventative measures to incidents witnessed. Photo courtesy of author.

Iliana Moreno, Loretto News Editor

On Friday, February 8, five of Loretto’s juniors attended the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence’s panel on teen dating violence.

Juniors Isabella Baca, Barbara Castillo, Isabella Fernandez, Natalia Gallardo, and Iliana Moreno attended the panel, meeting several local leaders along the way.

Theology III teacher Mrs. Cristina Melby attended the event with the students, ensuring their safety and learning new methods to bring back to the classroom.

Castillo was selected to be on the panel, speaking on dating issues alongside two students from Canutillo High School. 

Castillo said, “It was a little nerve-wracking, but it felt very official — I felt like I represented Loretto well.”

Students were asked questions about awareness of aspects within teen dating; they discussed the use of birth control, mental and physical abuse, and parent awareness. 

Some of the local leaders included District Attorney Jaime Esparza, several school representatives, and representatives from Congresswoman Escobar’s district office. 

Questions were opened to the audience, allowing students to voice their opinions and stories witnessed around their schools. 

Gallardo said, “It was good to have the adults want to finally hear our voices.”

The panel allowed for students to voice their opinions on the issues around dating violence, while assisting city and school officials in understanding how to better help future generations face the issue.