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Eau Claire Public Schools Considering Human Trafficking Reporting Policy

Proposal Would Have Teachers Alert Authorities To Possible Victims Of Sexual Exploitation

Dean Terry (CC-BY-SA).

A proposal at the Eau Claire Area School District aims to encourage teachers to report students they believe might be victims of human trafficking.

School board members were briefed this week on what teachers can do to fight against sexual exploitation.

School Board Vice President Joe Luginbill said teachers overhear things that parents don’t and his plan is to get them training in how to spot students being groomed for human trafficking before they become victimized.

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“What it looks to do is equip our professional staff, who work with children every day, to make sure they have adequate information and resources on what the warning signs are, what the indicators are, different things to say, different questions to ask,” said Lubinbill.

Jodi Emerson, the director of the human trafficking victim advocacy group Fierce Freedom in Eau Claire, is helping with the Eau Claire schools proposal. She said the goal is to teach professional staff how to spot students that may be at risk of becoming a victim of trafficking.

“We want to make sure to get the staff members the warning signs of what it looks like, what it looks like in the grooming process so we can catch it before it happens,” said Emerson.

She said the warning signs include students getting numerous expensive gifts like new cell phones, jewelry or clothing.

Luginbill said he’s drawing up a flowchart of who school staff should call if they suspect a problem based on existing policies at the Madison Metropolitan School District.