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Discussing the Film The Mask You Live in with your Student

At Bishop O’Dowd High School, we believe that allowing the time and space for students to engage in difficult and courageous conversations can be an important step toward creating more safety in our school and respectful relationships among students on- and off-campus and on- and offline.

Beginning January 24 and continuing until March 16, students will spend approximately two class periods in their Religion class covering the Safe Environment curriculum for the school year using the film The Mask You Live In. The film explores how narrow definitions of masculinity can harm boys, men, and society at large, and how to take action in creating a broader and healthier definition of masculinity. Students will see a Youth Version of the film that is appropriate for classroom instruction.

We encourage you to view the film and to have a conversation with your student about the film. Discuss your reactions to the film. Share your understanding of some ways in which unhealthy masculinity is taught and some ways in which it can be unlearned. Talk about how to take action to work towards healthier masculinity. The film is available for streaming on Netflix, or to buy or rent on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google play. Common Sense Media has a review of the film and rates the film as appropriate for ages 15 and above.

You can stay aware of when the film will be shown in your student’s Religion class by going to Schoology and looking at the class calendar. Click this link to the Schoology Guide for Parents for help with accessing Schoology.

On April 12th, Mr. Ashanti Branch will also be leading a Taking off the Mask workshop for our boys athletic teams and their coaches. The workshop is also open to any of our young men at O’Dowd. Details will be announced as the date approaches.

Email Mark Lederer, Director of Health and Wellness, with any questions.

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