SWEETWATER COUNTY– During the Sweetwater County School District #2 Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night, Crystal Martin, Executive Director at Sweetwater Against Trafficking, proposed that the board consider implementing a human trafficking prevention program into the district’s curriculum.
The program is called Not A Number: Child Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Program. Not A Number is an interactive prevention curriculum that aims to provide youth with information and skills to protect themselves from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Martin told the school board that human trafficking and sexual exploitation does happen in smaller communities like Green River and Sweetwater County. She said it is not just a big city issue.
According to Martin, there is an average of 270,000 online predators targeting children every day. She said kids within SCSD #2 are even more vulnerable, as they use their chromebooks every day for school work.
Though the students are protected by the district’s firewall while inside school buildings, when they take the chromebooks home, they no longer have those protections.
About Not A Number
Not a Number is designed to give youth the information and skills to help guide them in making safe choices in a situation where they may encounter potentially exploitative situations and utilize healthy support systems.
The curriculum consists of five modules:
- An Introduction to Human Trafficking and Exploitation
- Analyzing Culture and Society
- Red Flags and Relationships
- Vulnerabilities and Resilience
- Reducing Risky Behavior and Getting Help
Learn more about the curriculum here: Not A #Number Curriculum.
A Duty to Protect Local Youth
Martin said the community’s youth faces the possibility of encountering exploitative situations in a number of ways, whether with adults in the community, between students, or online.
Instilling kids with the information and skills to know how to make safe choices is crucial in keeping the community’s youth safe.
“It is our duty to try to protect the youth of our community,” Martin said to the school board.
The school board said they would be willing to discuss the possibility of implementing Not A Number into the district’s curriculum in a workshop at a later date.