By: Charmaine Santos
Edited by: Sharon E. Chin
A film director named Libby Spears founded a Los Angeles based non-profit called The Nest Foundation, where students and policymakers gather together to discuss solutions aimed to end child trafficking and sexual exploitation. Spears had previously filmed a documentary about child trafficking in the Portland area, which led her to develop a curriculum for students to teach them about the scope and prevalence of the problem. The curriculum is being taught in 10th grade health classes at Madison High School and David Douglas High School as part of a pilot program. This includes student discussions with Portland police, the district attorney, county commissioners, and others regarding child sex trafficking.
Spears tells KOIN 6 News that the best way to prevent this epidemic of child exploitation is by educating kids about the subject before it may happen to them; teens must be given the tools to recognize pimps and pimp recruitment tactics.
While developing the curriculum, students from Madison High School were crucial to its development. Spears shared with KOIN 6 News, “It’s critical to hear from youth because those are the people we’re trying to protect. So we need to listen to be more effective at our jobs.”
Charmaine Santos is a sophomore at the University of San Francisco pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Biology as well as minors in Chemistry and Health Studies. She volunteers alongside UCSF medical students at a student-run homeless clinic in San Francisco and is also an active volunteer with Operation Access. Charmaine is also a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.
Frazier, A. (2015, May 26). “Health Class Teaches Teens Sex Trafficking Signs.” LIN Television Corporation. Retrieved May 27, 2015 from http://koin.com/2015/05/26/madison-hs-to-hold-sex-trafficking-discussion/
Photo Credit: (Getty Images) http://www.zimbio.com/Libby+Spears/pictures/pro