“Redefining what ‘Man up’ means requires teaching students what it means to be an upstanding man” said Rangeview High School Social Studies teacher Ryan Sladek about the 2nd Annual Man Up Event. The event was held on February 28, 2016 for the 9th grade male students. This event took the students on an outing to challenge them to redefine what it means to ‘Man Up.’
While at this events students heard a keynote from Aurora West College Preparatory Academy’s Assistant Principal, Douglas Tucker, before watching excerpts of the documentary “The Mask You Live In.” Tucker shared with the students in attendance about his journey to manhood and how important is it to personally define manhood.
“That is what men do,” Tucker said, “they take care of themselves, their families and each other. Men build other men up… Men solve problems.”
In a narrative from the documentary, former NFL player Joe Ehrmann along with other educators, activists, and experts explain that ‘man up’ is one of the most destructive phrases in this culture, and that it is crippling both young and older men. Manhood must be redefined so that young men can take off the mask that they often wear and learn what manhood is really about.
After watching excerpts of the documentary students engaged in discussions about their beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions about the content of the film, and their own experiences with defining their masculinity. Students worked in small groups, completed, handouts, and participated in activities that would help them identify important traits associated with manhood.
Rangeview Counselor Kyle Hirch described the purpose of the event by saying “We are going to engage in honest and critical discussions about what it means to be a man, in order to better understand the kind of men we want to be.
Students, facilitators and administrators have been singing the praises of this event. Rangeview looks to find more opportunities to build upon the foundation of this Man Up program for its male students.