García Resolution to End Exploitation of Children Approved Unanimously

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 9. 2016) – Today, members of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education unanimously voted in favor to increase services and resources to eliminate the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Authored by Board Member Mόnica García and co-sponsored by Board Members Dr. Rodriguez, Ratliff, and Dr. McKenna, the Not In Our Schools, Not In Our Communities: Address, Prevent, and Eliminate Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Los Angeles Unified School District resolution calls for the infusion of CSEC awareness in existing divisions and policies, the identification of additional supports for student victims, and the development of a pilot program for the most impacted schools in LAUSD.

“Where there is highest need, there must be greater investment. We must embrace our power to act against any and all violence against our children,” said Board Member García. “Nobody knows our priorities more than we do. We model for the nation how to budget with a moral compass towards our goal of 100% graduation.”

"The safety and education of our students depends on our ability to come together as a community and to learn to stand up against the commercial sexual exploitation of children," said Board Member Ref Rodriguez.

“Nothing matters more to our community than the safety of our children,” said Board Member Mónica Ratliff. “I commend Board Member García for bringing this resolution forward and thank her for the opportunity to be a co-sponsor.”

Michelle Guymon, Director of the Child Trafficking Unit at the Los Angeles County Probation Department said that there is a perception that CSEC only happens in foreign countries. But counters this belief: “It is happening right here, in our community. Now that we know, we must do better.”

A champion for healthy and safe children and a committed partner to ending CSEC, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said that “the coordination of resources and tactics among multiple governmental entities is critical to winning the fight against those who are trafficking and exploiting our children. When our resources are pooled and we are unified in our approach and response, we begin to turn the tide in favor of our kids.” Finally, he noted, “I commend the Board of Education for being our partner in the fight against this repugnant crime.”

“The problem of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children must be eliminated,” said Board Member Dr. McKenna. “Our entire community suffers beyond measure when we tolerate this affliction and evolving its existence without extreme resistance. The LAUSD Board and Superintendent are committed to protecting our students and families through this resolution that is intended to inform our schools and communities of our mutual and collective responsibilities.

LAUSD established a CSEC Task Force in 2014 with the assistance of the L.A. County Human Relations Commission. The Task Force is made up of more than 60 representatives including LAUSD, Local government agencies and community stakeholders. For more information, resources and support please contact Holly Priebe-Sotelo at priebe-diaz@lausd.net.
 
Contact: Isidro Armenta (213) 241-6180
                                                                  ###