BOSTON (WWLP) — Lauren Dunne Astley was a beautiful and talented singer, her ex-boyfriend was a high school football star. On the outside they were a picture perfect couple, but appearances can be deceiving.
The parents of Lauren Dunne Astley are asking state lawmakers to support legislation that would mandate sexual education and violence prevention programs in Massachusetts schools. Their daughter’s boyfriend of three years was convicted of killing Lauren after she tried to break up with him.
“Kids need a lot of training in what is one of the most painful parts of being human and that is having an intimate relationship come to an end,” said Malcolm Astley, Lauren’s father. “We can provide them with support and tools and ways to cope with and to be ready for the jolts of breaking up.”
Lauren’s mother, Mary Dunne, also says parents can spot the warning signs in their children’s relationships.
“Lauren’s friends did not like her boyfriend, Lauren’s boyfriend did not come to our homes on a regular basis,” said Dunne. “I don’t think that there was true violence in her relationship but there certainly was when it was over.”
Under the legislation, students of all grade levels would learn about teen dating violence and skills needed to approach attackers or assist victims. But with more than one hundred education laws to consider, getting the legislation approved will be difficult.
“What we’re trying to do is prevent this from happening again and change the culture before it recurs,” said Rep. Thomas Conroy (D-Wayland). “It’s challenging, I know, for the Chairwomen to single out one particular issue and say yes we’re going to allow this curriculum change to happen on this particular issue.”
Lauren’s former boyfriend, Nathaniel Fujita, was sentenced to life without parole in March.
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