The past few weeks have been so busy and so very exciting! Speaking at the 2012 National Trafficking in Persons Symposium in Salt Lake City, UT allowed me to meet so many fabulous survivors. I was invited by several different organizations to speak at events in VA, NJ, and PA: the Virginia Attorney General’s Office; the Henrico, VA Police Academy; the University of Pennsylvania; the State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior Leagues of NJ; the NJ Human Trafficking Task Force, the Children Advocacy Centers of VA, and others.
Last week, I attended a bill signing ceremony at the Northern Virginia Community College in which Governor Bob McDonnell signed into legislation several bills aimed to help fight human trafficking. One such bill will require the Board of Education and the Department of Social Services to provide awareness and training materials for local school divisions on human trafficking, including strategies for the prevention of trafficking children. To read more, please visit my new weekly column with the Washington Times.
As a follow-up to this article, 14-year-old Courtney (8th grade middle school student and namesake for Tina Frundt’s organization, Courtney’s House) offered to write up some tips to help teachers recognize when a child is being trafficked.
Thank you so much, Courtney! You are so smart and brave and AMAZING!!
Courtney’s 10 Tips for Educators on How to Recognize a Child / Teen is in Danger of Trafficking
1. The child / teen seems quiet or reserved and / or is hanging around a new crowd in school
2. The child / teen’s personality changes
3. Rumors are circulating in school that the child / teen is “sleeping around”
4. The child / teen has unexplained absences from school and/or episodes of running away for a few days
5. The child / teen is tired in class due to lack of sleep
6. The child / teen has gang tattoos and / or is hanging around gang members
7. The child / teen posts inappropriate pictures and comments on Facebook or Twitter (for those teachers who use social media)
8. The child / teen has unexplained outbursts of anger
9. Watch for “recruitment girls,” those who try to lure younger or less experienced girls into their clique
10. These indicators apply to both girls and boys!