School board adopts resolution to bring awareness to human trafficking

The human trafficking resolution was adopted by the Duval County School Board on Tuesday January 7, 2020, during their monthly board meeting.

 A RESOLUTION OF THE SCHOOL BOARD OF DUVAL COUNTY, FLORIDA,

WHEREAS, the School Board of Duval County, Florida (the “School Board”), consisting of seven elected Florida Constitutional Officers, is the governing body for the School District of Duval County, Florida (the “district”); and

WHEREAS, the School Board is committed to keeping its students safe, secure and free from harm; and

WHEREAS, section 787.06, Florida Statutes, defines human trafficking as “a form of modern-day slavery” that victimizes young children, teenagers, and adults who are recruited, harbored, obtained or exported through force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation;

WHEREAS, the State of Florida consistently ranks third in the nation for the number of calls made to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, and Duval County ranks third among Florida counties for the number of verified crimes;

WHEREAS, statistics show that the criminal enterprise of human trafficking is second only to illegal drug trade in terms of growth and criminal profit;

WHEREAS, addressing and preventing human trafficking requires the collective efforts of trained individuals internally and externally to the school system;

WHEREAS, prevention of human trafficking starts with training and awareness of the warning signs and identification of behaviors of at-risk minors;

WHEREAS, in keeping with the School Board’s paramount concern for all students throughout the district, the School Board adopts this Resolution.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the School Board adopts the following resolutions:

1. The forgoing recitals set forth above are true and correct and are incorporated herein by reference.

2. The School Board joins and supports the City Council of the City of Jacksonville in its adoption of Resolution 2019-895-A, which designates the month of January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month and designates January 23, 2020 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Jacksonville.

3. The School Board joins and supports the State Board of Education in its adoption of Rule 6A-1.094123, F.A.C., providing for instruction for the prevention and awareness of child trafficking.

4. The School Board adopts this Resolution for the purpose of bringing awareness and education regarding this topic, and to further implement the instruction required by the State Board of Education; and to further the School Board’s support, the School Board intends to develop and adopt a policy providing for awareness and education, including establishing the identification of warning signs for at-risk minors, in order to prevent human trafficking, and in order to provide appropriate referrals and services for the victims of human trafficking.

5. The School Board encourages citizens, businesses, and district employees to take advantage of all local opportunities to become educated on this important topic; accordingly, the School Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop and implement training to be provided to all district employees, and develop procedures for the identification and referral of human trafficking victims to appropriate authorities and support agencies.

6. The School Board shall post this resolution with the minutes of its January 7, 2020 School Board meeting.

7. This Resolution shall be delivered to all district schools and the following officials:

a. City of Jacksonville City Council Members;

b. The Honorable Lenny Curry, City of Jacksonville Mayor;

c. The Florida State Board of Education Members; and;

d. The Honorable Richard Corcoran, Commissioner of Education.

8. This Resolution shall become effective immediately upon its adoption.

ADOPTED, on January 7, 2020, in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, by the School Board of Duval County, Florida.

ATTEST: THE SCHOOL BOARD OF DUVAL COUNTY, FLORIDA

By:_____________________________   By:______________________________ Dr. Diana Greene, Warren A. Jones, Chairman Superintendent of Schools and Ex-Officio Secretary to the Board