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January Is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
January 16, 2018

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals:                                                                                                          

JANUARY IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS MONTH

In partnership with the PROTECT program (a group of nonprofit organizations committed to helping educators and students identify and prevent instances of human trafficking), the Office of the Attorney General, California Teachers Association, Department of Social Services, and Department of Health and Human Services, the California Department of Education (CDE) recognizes January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Human trafficking is a global issue that has not only made its way to our state and region, but also to our public schools.

Human trafficking is the world’s fastest-growing criminal enterprise and is an estimated $150 billion-a-year global industry. Two million children are trafficked every year, including an estimated 100,000 in the United States. California has the highest rates of human trafficking in the nation according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Some victimized children are taken away from their homes, communities, and schools; some are hidden from view; while others are living the horrific experience of a trafficking victim in plain sight.

On October 7, 2017, Governor Brown signed groundbreaking legislation making California the first state to adopt human trafficking prevention education training for teachers and students. Sponsored by 3Strands Global Foundation (a PROTECT coalition founder), the Human Trafficking Prevention Education and Training Act amends California Education Code (EC) Section 51934 of the Health Education Framework for grades seven through twelve to require human trafficking prevention education in public schools. This legislation also amends EC Section 51950 to require the continuation of training for school district personnel regarding human trafficking beginning January 1, 2018.

Additionally, Assembly Bill 1227 amended Section 16524.7 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code to add local educational agencies to the list of those who may be included in the multidisciplinary team serving commercially sexually exploited children and youth. Further, the bill added county offices of education as mandated participants in the development of an interagency protocol for counties who have opted in to the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Program as outlined in Senate Bill 855.

The CDE has created a short online Human Trafficking Prevention Education and Training Act Survey. California public schools provide a supportive and collaborative community that integrates protective school management protocols for students to feel secure and thrive in their learning environment; therefore, your participation in the survey is vital to expanding California’s effort to reduce—and ultimately eliminate—the vulnerabilities of students to human trafficking.

The information obtained from the survey will further California’s efforts to create safer schools and communities well-informed about the predatory strategies of traffickers and human trafficking prevention. The information will also guide the coordination and development of human trafficking response protocols to intervene when students are suspected of being victims of human trafficking.

Please complete this survey at https://surveys2.cde.ca.gov/go/htpeta.asp by January 26, 2018.

For more information regarding the training requirements for school personnel, please visit the California Legislative Information Web page at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1227.

For information regarding human trafficking resources, please visit the CDE Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/vp/commsexexploitationchild.asp.

If you have any questions regarding the Human Trafficking Prevention Education and Training Act Survey, please contact Jacie Ragland, Education Programs Consultant, Coordinated Student Support Division, by phone at 916-323-2568 or by e-mail at jragland@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education

Xavier Becerra
Attorney General of the State of California

Ashley M. Bryant, Co-Founder and President
3Strands Global Foundation
Co-Founder PROTECT

Will Lightbourne, Director
Department of Social Services

Eric Heins, President
California Teachers Association

TT/XB/AMB/WL/EH:jr
2018-00300

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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