Parents say educating kids is a collaborative effort, especially when you’re talking about tough issues.
“Partnership with the school and also the stuff we talk about at home is definitely the best way to do it for us,” said Chris Mapes, a father of three.
According to local families, human trafficking is an urgent topic that doesn’t get enough attention.
A bill moving through the Florida House would require public school health classes to include curriculum about recognizing and understanding human trafficking and abuse.
“I think it’s great to have the awareness of the human trafficking and have that awareness from students all the way up to make sure they’re aware of the problem it really is,” Mapes said.
Duval County Public Schools said they’ve been partnering with the organization Her Song for three years to embed human trafficking education into their middle school health classes.
Jose Vega with World Relief Jacksonville said the Interstate 95 corridor makes Duval County a human trafficking hub.
“Usually they would share to the peers and they will be more honest to them and open to them. Sometimes to go to an adult about some situations is just more difficult,” Vega said.
Vega said education on the topic should start as young as possible.
“Keep them safe as much as possible but at the same time have to, they have to learn as well and make sure they can fend for themselves,” Mapes said.
For resources for human trafficking victims, visit World Relief Jacksonville's website.