alcohol-impaired driving (Elder et al., 2005). Support for such activities is well founded. Based on a recent systematic and rigorous review, for example, the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommended comprehensive risk reduction interventions delivered in school settings, finding these interventions to be effective in promoting behaviors that prevent or reduce the risk of pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections (Chin et al., 2012). Schools also may serve as the primary source of health care for many of their students. School-based health centers, for example, provide a range of primary care services (e.g., comprehensive health assessments, vision and hearing screenings, immunizations, treatment of acute illness) for children and adolescents who may lack a usual and consistent source of health care (Allison et al., 2007; Soleimanpour et al., 2010). While commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors currently are not addressed broadly by the education sector, schools are beginning to recognize these problems—and the potential risk they pose—within their school communities.
This chapter provides an overview of the roles of schools and the education sector more generally in preventing, identifying, and responding to child maltreatment and interpersonal violence (e.g., adolescent dating violence and bullying), problems that, as discussed in earlier chapters, share related and overlapping aspects with the problems of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. It then describes the roles of schools and the education sector in preventing and addressing commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. Next, the chapter describes a number of noteworthy efforts on the part of educators, schools, and the education sector to address commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. Because this is an emerging area of research and practice, the committee used its public workshops, site visits, and key informant interviews to learn about such efforts at the federal, state, and local levels. The descriptions of these efforts in this chapter are meant to complement and supplement the limited published research. It should be noted that these activities have not been empirically evaluated. Thus, while the committee does not intend to imply that it is endorsing these approaches, it does endorse additional examination of their effectiveness. These examples are included to illustrate ways in which the education community can capitalize upon its expertise, resources, and daily interaction with school-aged children and adolescents to prevent, identify, and respond to exploitation on their campuses and within their communities. Following the description of these efforts is a discussion of challenges and opportunities for schools and the education sector in responding to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. The final section presents findings and conclusions.