How Does Human Trafficking Affect Our Schools?

Trafficking can involve school-age children—particularly those not living with their parents—who are vulnerable to coerced labor exploitation, domestic servitude, or commercial sexual exploitation (i.e., prostitution). Sex traffickers target children because of their vulnerability and gullibility, as well as the market demand for young victims. Those who recruit minors into prostitution violate federal anti-trafficking laws, even if there is no coercion or movement across state lines. The children at risk are not just high school students—studies demonstrate that pimps prey on victims as young as 12. Traffickers have been reported targeting their minor victims through telephone chat-lines, clubs, on the street, through friends, and at malls, as well as using girls to recruit other girls at schools and after-school programs.

How Do I Identify A Victim Of Human Trafficking?

A Victim:

  • Has unexplained absences from school for a period of time, and is therefore a truant

  • Demonstrates an inability to attend school on a regular basis

  • Chronically runs away from home

  • Makes references to frequent travel to other cities

  • Exhibits bruises or other physical trauma, withdrawn behavior, depression, or fear

  • Lacks control over her or his schedule or identification documents

  • Is hungry-malnourished or inappropriately dressed (based on weather conditions or surroundings)

  • Shows signs of drug addiction

* It is important to note that this list is not comprehensive of all signs of human trafficking, nor are all students who exhibit these signs most certainly trafficking victims. The list is meant to be a guide to help determine if further action is appropriate.

Additional Signs That May Indicate Sex-related Trafficking Include:

  • Has unexplained absences from school for a period of time, and is therefore a truant

  • Demonstrates an inability to attend school on a regular basis

  • Chronically runs away from home

  • Makes references to frequent travel to other cities

  • Exhibits bruises or other physical trauma, withdrawn behavior, depression, or fear

  • Lacks control over her or his schedule or identification documents

  • Is hungry-malnourished or inappropriately dressed (based on weather conditions or surroundings)

  • Shows signs of drug addiction

On December 3rd,2018 the Atlanta Board of Education unanimously adopted the first Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Policy. Board Member Erika Y. Mitchell, in collaboration with Dr. Sharnell Myles, developed the proposed policy for Atlanta Public School (APS) and the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking proposed protocol. The proposed policy and protocol was presented to the APS administration, government agencies, and community members for input on October 3rd, 2018.

Now Atlanta Public Schools is the first school district to have two Board policies for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. Board Policy (JGBA) Student Support Services – Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and Board Policy (JGIA) Child Abuse or Neglect – Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking are the two policies. Board Member Mitchell and Dr. Myles will host several educational meeting with community members to discuss awareness, prevention of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking.

The Atlanta Board of Education authorize their district administration to develop regulations and/or protocols for in school response teams and care systems to help student victims and prevention

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© 2017 by Campaign For Erika Y Mitchell