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The following Know! Tip discusses the sex trafficking of children. There is no graphic content or descriptions below, but it could still be difficult for some readers. If you suspect human trafficking might be occurring near you or need help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, TTY 711, text 233-733, or chat with the hotline at humantraffickinghotline.org/chat.
In a newly released report by the U.S. State Department, the United States (along with Mexico and the Philippines), ranks among the top three worst countries in the world for human trafficking—including the sex trafficking of minors. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warns that more than 300,000 of our nation’s youth are considered at risk for sexual exploitation annually.
You may have already heard about teen sex trafficking becoming more common in our country but, chances are, it still feels far away from your life and the lives of those you love. In reality, it is happening all around us, in neighborhoods just like ours, to children just like ours.
What exactly is sex trafficking and is YOUR child really at risk?
Sex trafficking is defined as, “a commercial sex act induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.” This refers to everything from street prostitution, stripping, and pornography to exchanging sexual acts for survival (sex in exchange for food and shelter).
At this point many of us will take a deep breath and say to ourselves, “this is not my child, and this is definitely not something my child would get mixed up in or be lured into.”
Traffickers however are clever and highly manipulative. The trafficker doesn’t show their true self in the beginning. They typically befriend the victim and gain their trust; they may even pretend to be romantically interested in their target. When the trafficker is ready to strike, they are likely to extort the victim to prevent running away or seeking help by threatening the victim’s loved ones, for instance.
It is also important to note that girls are not the only victims of child sex trafficking. In certain areas, some studies have estimated as much as 40 to 45 percent of the victim population to be boys.
Traffickers do not discriminate based on a victim’s gender, age, race or socioeconomic status. Boys and girls from varying backgrounds are being “recruited” into sex trafficking. What traffickers do target however, is vulnerability. And what child doesn’t have vulnerabilities?
Every child and situation is unique. While there is no all-inclusive list to determine every child’s risk, researchers have identified a range of common factors among those involved in sexual exploitation and sex trafficking (according to a report by the Institute of Medicine (IOC) and National Research Council (NRC), Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States. Those factors are:
History of child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment
Homeless, runaway, or “throwaway youth”
History of systems involvement (for example: juvenile justice, child welfare)
Lack of awareness of commercial exploitation and sex trafficking
Sexualization of children
Lack of resources
Involvement in the foster care system and childhood sexual abuse are said to be two of the highest risk factors that increase a child’s vulnerability.
However, low self-esteem, rebellion and the desire for love and attention are also powerful vulnerabilities that traffickers look to exploit, in addition to the risk factors listed above.
An estimated 150,000 children born in the U.S. are recruited into sex trafficking each year, and they’re recruited at a young age. Fourteen is the average age of a trafficked victim in the U.S. This is an important topic to not only be aware of, but a potentially life-saving conversation to have with our children.
A future Know! tip will share additional information on the topic, including getting this conversation started with your child, and what to do if you suspect someone you know or come across is in need of help.
In the meantime, reach out to the National Human Trafficking Hotline to report a tip or get help: 1-888-373-7888, TTY: 711, Text: 233-733, or chat with the hotline athumantraffickinghotline.org/chat. It’s confidential and available 24/7.
Ohio PTA seeks a motivated, self-directed, articulate
professional who believes in the mission of PTA. The Executive Director’s role
is to manage member services and support the Board and constituent PTA units.
This is a “hands on” position in the two person office of a small member based
non-profit organization in Columbus.
KEY RESPONSIBILITIES and ACCOUNTABILITIES:
·Represents Ohio PTA on state committees as requested by thePresident
·Maintains and manages memberdatabase
·Manages correspondence, phone calls and emails
·Contract negotiation for facility andequipment
·Signs all checks prepared by the Financial
·Reconciles the monthly bankstatement
·Member of the Convention PlanningCommittee
·Compiles reports for the Executive Committee asrequested
·Provides copies for Board and events asneeded
·Maintains Board of Directors biographical and
statistical information and compiles resources for new boardmembers
·Supports Board of Director Committees asrequested
·Maintains and updates website
·Research, development and marketing for donors
PTA UNIT SUPPORT
·Responds to unit questions and refers to
appropriate district advisor or directoras
National PTA is encouraging all parents/guardians to learn more about state report cards and look beyond the letter grade given to districts. Please complete this baseline survey from National PTA: http://bit.ly/2IhRJUt
Is this survey on YOUR school district's website, FB Page, and Twitter Page? Please contact your superintendent and/or communications person for placement. We want Ohio to have the most parent/guardian responses to this survey.
Since its inception in 1964, the Ohio Teacher of the Year program annually identifies exceptional teachers statewide celebrating their effective work in and outside the classroom. Nominations come from public traditional and community school administrators, students, parents, peers and community members. Following an in-depth nomination process, 11 State Board of Education districts selected regional 2020 Teachers of the Year. A panel of education and community stakeholders will select state finalists to interview from the pool of State Board district honorees to finally select the 2020 Ohio Teacher of the Year.
National PTA continues to be distressed by reports that children are being held in migrant detention centers under horrific conditions. A recent report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Inspector General indicated that conditions and treatment of undocumented youth and families at border control facilities in the Rio Grande Valley are in violation of the Flores Agreement and the National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention and Search (TEDS) that require immediate action to address.
National PTA urges you to contact your members of Congress immediately to ensure the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) comply with federal law and standards and provide children and families access to hot meals, drinking water, access to basic hygiene and appropriate supervision. The action alert linked above will be sent out through National PTA’s Take Action network early this afternoon. We encourage you to share this action alert throughout your networks and post on social media.
Additionally, there are two congressional hearings this week in the U.S. House of Representatives that are relevant to this issue:
Note: As you know, National PTA has a position statement on the childhood trauma, Trauma Informed Care.
National PTA will be advocating through social media on our positions and about the hearings. Following the border hearing on Wednesday, we will consider an appropriate response to the administrative agencies responsible to ensure the humane treatment of migrant youth and families.
The National PTA staff continues to monitor the situation and we will continue to advocate for family unity and to ensure that all children, regardless of their immigration status, have the right to access a quality public education, adequate food and shelter, and basic health care services.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (July 9, 2019)—Leslie Boggs, a leadership development expert from Odessa, Texas, has been installed as the 56th president of National PTA, the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer child advocacy association. Boggs’ installation took place during a ceremony held in conjunction with the 2019 National PTA Convention & Expo in Columbus, Ohio.
Boggs is a certified DISC trainer and a professional consultant. She also has a certification in Nonprofit Leadership and Management and is a member of the John Maxwell Team and Mentorship. Additionally, Boggs has over 20 years of leadership experience at all levels of PTA. For the past two years, she served as president-elect of National PTA. She has also served as chair of several National PTA committees. At the state level, she served as president of Texas PTA from 2014-2016 and was president of New Mexico PTA from 2003-2005.
As a mother of three and a grandmother of four, Boggs is a dedicated and passionate advocate for children and their right to receiving a quality public education no matter their demographics, ethnicity or household income.
“Leslie’s expertise and strong leadership skills will be tremendous assets to National PTA and in guiding our association’s work to make every child’s potential a reality,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “She is committed to making a difference for the education, health, safety and well-being of every child, and we are pleased to welcome her as president.”
As president, Boggs will fight for more funding for mental health access for students as well as for legislation that ensures schools are safe from gun violence. She will also fight for more funding for public schools and to strengthen family engagement for all children. Under her leadership, National PTA will be starting an Engage Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative through its Center for Family Engagement.
“PTA is a community that accepts all and engages and empowers one another to lead, listen, be vulnerable and be courageous as we raise our voices for all children,” said Boggs. “I believe that servant leadership empowers others to reach their potential. I am honored and grateful to dedicate the next two years of my life to leading National PTA and working with the most passionate group of advocates and volunteers to make a difference for the lives and futures of every child.”
Boggs will serve as president of National PTA until June 2021.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.
Right now, there is a humanitarian crisis at our nation’s border affecting children detained in federal immigration facilities. Time is of the essence and we ask that you send a letter to your Members of Congress urging them to conduct appropriate and sustained oversight of these facilities and guarantee that detained children are afforded enhanced protections that meet their needs.
All you need to do is click on the “Take Action” button below to send a letter to your Member of Congress. Thank you for your continued support to protect all children regardless of their immigration status.