Southeast High School is now offering a new 12-week Sex Trafficking Course for its students. Southeast High School is 1 of 5 schools in the Nation to provide the course. Providing ongoing awareness and prevention education on the issue of Human Trafficking enables students to recognize the warning signs and report possible victimization.
"We learned a lot about Law Enforcement and Law Enforcement's roles and responsibilities in their job. Human Trafficking is one of those roles and responsibilities that law enforcement deals with. So having my students know more about Human Trafficking, knowing what the signs are, and how to report things like that is important. It can not only help them, but it can help them to help people that they run into in their life.," said Kenny Watson the Public Safety Teacher.
Lucas said that Human Trafficking is very prevalent in our state and in the past year they have opened up 260 cases of human trafficking.
"Familial trafficking is our most reported trafficking, it's where a family member is exploiting their child. So you might have a mother with a drug addiction that's exchanging drugs and she's exchanging her child for drugs. Then we have Pimp Control Trafficking, that is where, you know, these kids are thinking they're meeting a boyfriend on the internet and it's somebody that they don't know and they are manipulated into a relationship," stated Ashlee Lucus, MBI Sex Trafficking Coordinator.
Although Sex Trafficking can happen to anyone some people are more vulnerable than others. Clark provides some advice on staying safe.
"Be careful with social media. Just because someone is saying that they are this particular person online, they may not be. Use common sense when you're sending pictures. Don't tell people your personal information. Parents with younger kids, you know, kind of pay attention to who they're talking to. It's easy to get caught up thinking that someone online that you've never met may be a friend," said Clark.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department will be conducting the course over the next 12 weeks.