The Bulloch County Schools district has announced that its high schools and middle schools will begin teaching state-mandated, single-day human trafficking awareness lessons this fall.
So, the school district will provide parents and guardians an opportunity to review the lessons before instruction begins. A review session is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, in the cafeteria of Southeast Bulloch High School. Families are asked to make an appointment online at https://tinyurl.com/BChumantraffickreview if they plan to attend, or to contact Debbie Sarratt at (912) 212-8566 to schedule an individual appointment for a review.
Georgia House Bill 287, signed into law April 27 by Gov. Brian Kemp, mandates the instruction for all children in sixth through 12th grades.
The local school district distributed an information packet to parents and guardians Oct. 6 by email and sent a printed packet home with middle and high school students. Families were also contacted by telephone, reported Hayley Greene, public relations director for the Bulloch County Schools.
Parents and guardians have the option to exclude their child from the single-day lesson if it is in conflict with their personal conscience, morality, or religious beliefs. If this is the case, parents and guardians can fill out the opt-out form they were provided and return it to their child's social studies or health and physical education teacher. Students who are opted-out will be sent to a supervised location in the school with an alternate assignment.
In the Bulloch County Schools, social studies teachers, counselors and other assigned teachers have been asked to deliver the human trafficking awareness lessons between Oct. 25 and Dec. 17. But the lesson lasts just one class period.
Students are one of the highest-risk populations for human trafficking and are targeted by traffickers to become both victims and perpetrators, states the information release Greene provided.
The purpose of the state’s effort, she indicated, is to “save lives by teaching students how to recognize the warning signs of human trafficking and who to contact for assistance.”
The school system is also offering support to parents as the primary educators of their children. The district’s release makes these suggestions for parents and guardians to start discussions with their children about human trafficking awareness education:
- Talk about exploitation. What does it mean for someone to take advantage of you? How does it look? How does it feel? What are some examples of exploitation?
- Talk about protective factors. How can you protect yourself and look out for your friends? What are your skills and talents? What are your goals? What value do you bring to your friends and family?
- Use empowering language. What are your strengths? What decisions do you get to make for yourself?
- Use language that resonates with youth. What kind of language are people using to talk about unhealthy relationships? What trends have you noticed that may be unsafe?
- Express that you care and are concerned about their safety. Are you worried about any of your friends? What experiences make you feel unsafe?