A new bill moving in the state House is geared towards teaching children in Florida public schools about the dangers and warning signs of human trafficking. On Tuesday, the House Education subcommittee voted unanimously for the bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Patricia Williams of Fort Lauderdale. According to the Sun-Sentinel, twenty-two school in Florida districts already include human trafficking information in their health classes. However, this new bill would include human trafficking in health classes currently taught in Florida public schools and the curriculum would focus on how to recognize and understand human trafficking, as well as child abuse.
If you’ve followed my reporting on the Robert Kraft case, you’re well aware of my passion for this topic. There are 22 Americans lost daily due to human trafficking. There are 44 foreigners trafficked into the US per day. It’s a horrible and under-discussed problem. Sadly, we have a news media that rife with institutionalized racism. If you have a blond-haired, blue-eyed girl who goes missing you hear about it. Otherwise, it usually isn’t even a consideration by most news media. The reason you so seldom hear about the missing victims is that overwhelmingly they’re minorities from urban communities. With all of that said, educating kids in school of the risks, threats, and reality of the human trafficking crisis is smart and will probably help save lives.
Children need to know the tactics used to attempt to lure victims into their circles. For example, providing them “friendship” and gifts like phones and clothes. People who might be inclined to “purchase” sexual services need to know that often those they’re buying from are victims of trafficking and not willing participants. It’s an unfortunate reality of the world we will live but it is reality. I hope this passes.
Photo by: MADAREE TOHLALA/AFP/Getty Images