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April 2015 Newsletter: Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Schools

As nearly 1.2 million youth are trafficked each year, schools across the nation must be equipped to understand and recognize the signs of commercial sexual exploitation. As a follow-up to last month’s MECP webinar entitled, “The Role of School Resource Officers in Combating Commercial Sexual Exploitation,” this month’s newsletter provides additional resources to address child sex trafficking issues within your community. Through resources such as the U.S. Department of Education’s new guide on Identifying and Preventing Child Trafficking in Schools, and the resources provided by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), stakeholders will be better prepared to assess and develop strategies to respond to commercial sex trafficking of youth.  

MECP Webinar: The Role of School Resource Officers in Combating Commercial Sexual Exploitation

The MECP program in collaboration with Ms. Jenee’ Littrell, Assistant Principal from the Grossmont Union High School District in San Diego, CA, and Detective Sergeant William H. Woods, Retired from the San Diego Police Department, hosted a webinar entitled, “The Role of School Resource Officers in Combating Commercial Sexual Exploitation.”  This webinar provided an overview of commercial sexual exploitation in schools and offered strategies for assessing and developing the capacity to coordinate responses that include school personnel, law enforcement, and the community.

To view the recording of this webinar, please visit http://mecptraining.org/educate/webinars/.

U.S. Department of Education Releases New Guide on Identifying and Preventing Child Trafficking in Schools 

Provided By: Eve Birge, Office of Safe and Healthy Students, U.S. Department of Justice

School personnel are uniquely positioned to identify and report suspected abuse and connect students to services—actions that can prevent trafficking and even save lives. Everyone who is part of the school community—administrators, teachers, bus drivers, maintenance personnel, food service staff, resource officers, and other school community members—has the potential to be an advocate for child victims of human trafficking.

The U.S. Department of Education has released a new guide for educators on ways to identify and help prevent child trafficking in schools. Human Trafficking in America’s Schools is a free guide for school staff that includes information about risk factors, recruitment, and how to identify trafficking; what to do if you suspect trafficking, including sample school protocols and policies; and other resources and potential partnership opportunities. The Department also has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and President Lincoln’s Cottage, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to sponsor a youth campaign focused on raising awareness about and preventing human trafficking.

An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year worldwide, according to the International Labour Organization, and the problem is dire in America. Child trafficking is modern day slavery and involves exploiting a child for the purpose of forced labor, commercial sex, or both.

National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO)

The NASRO assists communities and schools districts around the world that desire safe schools and effective community partnerships in developing the most effective program for their community. The goal of NASRO and School Resource Officer programs is to provide safe learning environments in our nation’s schools, provide valuable resources to school staff, foster a positive relationship with our nation’s youth, and develop strategies to resolve problems affecting our youth with the goal of protecting every child so they can reach their fullest potential. To learn more about NASRO and training opportunities, please visit https://nasro.org/.

The MECP and AMBER Alert Tribal and Human Trafficking Webinar Series

The MECP has collaborated with the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program to host the Tribal and Human Trafficking Thursdays Series. This series will bring together state, local and tribal subject matter experts (SME) to identify common types of violence, risk factors for violence and signs of possible victimization among children, including those in tribal country. To view past and upcoming webinars, please visit here or select the title below.

Upcoming Events:

May 5th – 6th, 2015 Cedarburg, Wisconsin - Child Abduction Search Tactics- Field Training: This two day course will give the student an in-depth look at what is required to successfully investigate a child abduction case. The students will create standard operation procedures while attending this course. Students learn about the mechanics of conducting various types of searches. To learn more about this event, visit here.

May 12th- 13th, 2015 Burien, Washington- Technology Facilitated Crimes Against Children in Indian Country: This training program will provide tribes with the training and resources needed to prevent, respond, and investigate technology facilitated crimes in their communities. Tribes will be provided with the information and introductions needed to become affiliates or develop relationships with the regional ICAC Task Force. Information and access to resources for prevention education in schools and youth programs will be provided. To learn more about this event, visit here.

May 18th – 19th, 2015 Scottsdale, Arizona- Sex Trafficking and Exploitation in Indian Country: This training is designed to provide tribal law enforcement investigators, human trafficking task force members and social service providers with the information necessary to properly understand, recognize, and investigate cases involving child sex trafficking and exploitation. Modules include a focus on the survivor’s perspective; historical factors which contribute to the trafficking and exploitation of Native American and Alaskan Native children; and changing perceptions regarding trafficking victims. To learn more about this event, visit here.

July 5th- 10th, 2015 NASRO Conference: The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) will hold its 25th annual School Safety Conference July 5-10, 2015 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. The NASRO conference will bring together school resource officers, law enforcement, school security/safety professionals, school board members, school administrators, and others to receive superior training and networking opportunities. To learn more, please visit here.

Training Center:

Request Training and Technical Assistance from MECP. MECP offers training and technical assistance tailored to meet the specific needs of State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other juvenile justice practitioners. For information on how your agency or organization can receive training and technical assistance on missing and exploited children’s issues, please contact MECP at 1–888–347–5610 or [email protected]. To submit a request for training and technical assistance, please complete a training and technical assistance form.