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Pioneer Valley High School’s SHARe club recently hosted a “Denim Day” rally and dress up day to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault, promote healthy relationships, and provide support for the community.

Denim Day began in 1999 as part of an international protest of an Italian High Court decision to overturn a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans. The Court stated in its decision that “jeans cannot even be partly removed without the effective help of the person wearing them...and it is impossible if the victim is struggling with all her might.” The unpopular verdict became an international symbol of myth-based injustice for sexual assault victims.

Club President Caren Pacheco-Rojas and other club officers spearheaded the event after being outraged by the story of the Italian teen who was sexually assaulted.

SHARe club students distributed fliers and posters on campus prior to the event, and wore decorated jeans to draw attention. Students and staff showed their support and solidarity by wearing denim.

The event was co-hosted by the North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center. The rally included games such as “a walk in her shoes,” “pin the pocket on the jeans,” and a trivia game of “myths and facts” about sexual assault. The students also organized an informational table with resources.

During the event PVHS Community Liaison Araceli Mandujano distributed jeans that had been donated by the Central Coast Rescue Mission to any teens who needed a pair. Approximately 100 pairs of jeans were distributed.

Club Advisors Angela Collins and Kristin Katz believe, “Denim Day helped acknowledge serious issues facing our community. It was wonderful to see the teens work together to prevent sexual assault.”


NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or kplatt@smjuhsd.org. You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.