Tennessee's Shortcomings in Teaching Our Children to Protect Themselves and Their Peers Against Sex Trafficking

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Bigler, Emily
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
There are many different avenues that lead to child sex trafficking, and more often than not, it is a known and or trusted adult who grooms the youth and lures them into trafficking. This happens everywhere, so Tennessee is no exception. While there is a law set in Tennessee’s Code that would at least teach youth about what sex trafficking is, this has not yet been added to the state’s education requirements. Some districts are not even aware of this requirement. Teachers, law enforcement, and caretakers tend to be the main receivers for this type of training, but it is important that the youth are trained to recognize how they and their peers might be at risk, as well as how to respond to sex trafficking. This can be done simply through open conversation and positive interaction to make youth feel heard and valued.