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New APS rules require employees, volunteers to report sex trafficking

Atlanta Public Schools’ employees, contractors and volunteers are now required to report instances of child sex trafficking. 

The school board unanimously approved a pair of policies Monday to support children who are victims of sex trafficking. The rules pertain to domestic minor sex trafficking, which the district describes as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.” 

All APS employees, contractors, consultants and volunteers must report instances of domestic minor sex trafficking to the appropriate contact in each school, according to one of the policies. 

“All suspected or confirmed cases of domestic minor sex trafficking must be reported on behalf of students under eighteen years of age and students enrolled in APS who are 18 and older,” the policy states. “Persons making such reports are immune from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be imposed.”

The rules also authorize the superintendent to train employees about sex trafficking as well as offer counseling, health and social work services, and other support to students in need. 

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“Due to Atlanta’s status as an international transportation hub, domestic minor sex trafficking is particularly prevalent in the Atlanta area. The Atlanta Board of Education’s approach to addressing and preventing domestic minor sex trafficking in school communities requires a collective effort of trained individuals inside and outside the school. Prevention begins with training and awareness of how to identify at-risk minors and warning signs of relevant behavior,” states one of the new policies. 

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