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Florida Leaders Want Schools To Teach How To Spot, Stop Human Trafficking

Rep. Alcee Hastings is one of several Florida members of Congress who introduced or sponsored a new bill funding human trafficking education.
AP via Miami Herald
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida leaders at the state and federal level are hoping to prevent human trafficking through education.

Proposals now in front of the state Board of Education and Congress would make sure kids learn about human trafficking in schools.

During a meeting Friday morning in Jacksonville, the board is slated to consider a new regulation that would mandate that trafficking awareness and prevention are taught in public school health classes.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of Florida members of Congress has introduced a bill that would provide $75 million over five years for human trafficking education. 

The money would be doled out to nonprofits that would develop a new curriculum for teachers, students and parents in how to spot signs of human trafficking and respond.

The bill was introduced by Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, who represents Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, as well as Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of the Tampa Bay area. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Broward County Democrat, is also a sponsor.

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Jessica Bakeman reports on K-12 and higher education for WLRN, south Florida's NPR affiliate. While new to Miami and public radio, Jessica is a seasoned journalist who has covered education policymaking and politics in three state capitals: Jackson, Miss.; Albany, N.Y.; and, most recently, Tallahassee.