There are numerous ways that someone can explain how consent works — but a fifth-grade student recently demonstrated a perfect understanding of the concept with her brilliant list.
On Thursday, Twitter user @WhosDenverJones shared a note that she reportedly received from a friend who is a fifth-grade teacher. The note, written by a student named Zoë, was directed at a boy in her class named Noah.
From the look of the note, it appears that Noah has been teasing or flirting with Zoe, which is why she is now calling the shots and setting up some much-needed boundaries.
In the note, Zoë establishes seven new rules to govern her interactions with Noah, noting that he should not touch her shoulder or speak to her unless it is a greeting. She also asks that he reread the note 500 times, to make sure that it sinks in.
And Zoë told Noah what the consequences would be if he violated her boundaries.
"If you break any of these rules I'm calling my dad, my mom's friend, my fake mom, and a janitor I know," she wrote. "If you ruin my day I'm going to have to go to counseling!"
As of September 19, the post received over 10,000 likes on Twitter.
It's impressive that a fifth grader clearly knows what consent is, because many college students don't even have a universal definition. While states like California are mandating that high school students learn about consent, some educators recommend that children learn about it as early as preschool.
"There's so much research out there about how kids learn so much in their first five years," sex educator Marnie Goldenberg told Today's Parent.
There are many ways for educators to teach elementary school students about consent and personal boundaries, such as encouraging the use of safe words during playtime.
Or teachers can just follow Zoe's lead by writing down the boundaries that friends must follow.
(H/T: Refinery 29)