- April 2015
- Vol. 16, No. 3
Sex Trafficking in Schools
The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) published a brief for educators and school personnel on recognizing and preventing sex trafficking of students. The brief offers suggestions, resources, statistics, definitions, reporting information, and a general overview on trafficking.
Recognizing signs that a youth may be a target of sex trafficking is the first step in identifying a victim. The brief emphasizes the importance of school personnel recognizing signs of trafficking and knowing how to effectively respond to the situation. Some of the indicators that a child may be a victim of trafficking can include unexplained truancy, sudden change of behavior, homelessness, psychological symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, and/or an overly submissive attitude), and evidence of physical trauma. The brief also outlines the following recommendations by NCHE for schools to set in place in order help school personnel effectively respond to trafficking of students:
- Train school personnel to recognize and respond to signs of trafficking.
- Develop and implement a trafficking protocol.
- Offer a prevention curriculum to students.
The brief also discusses subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the Federal legislation that addresses the education of homeless children and youth, as well as the importance of State Coordinators for Homeless Education and school districts' local homeless education liaisons in preventing the trafficking of students.
Sex Trafficking of Minors: What Schools Need to Know to Recognize and Respond to the Trafficking of Students is available at http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/trafficking.pdf (627 KB).
To read more about this topic, see the Children's Bureau Express July/August 2013 Spotlight on Child Welfare and Human Trafficking, as well as the following CBX articles:
- "Sex Trafficking and Child Welfare" (December 2014/January 2015)
- "Sexual Exploitation, Trafficking Prevention" (November 2014)
- "Addressing the Sexual Exploitation of Minors" (September 2014)