Timely lessons at King’s Fork

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Many of us have the privilege of not having to think about human trafficking in our everyday lives, never mind being confronted with its harsh realities or even becoming a victim of human trafficking.

But the many facets of human trafficking can and do play out all over the world, even in places like Suffolk.

That’s why it’s so important that today’s high-schoolers graduate with the knowledge of what human trafficking actually is — and what it’s not. In today’s broken world, it is increasingly likely that these students will need this knowledge and more — how to prevent human trafficking and how best to help its victims — in their professional or personal lives down the road.

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The King’s Fork High School International Baccalaureate program’s Theory of Knowledge students recently tackled the issue in their class. Teacher Stuart Jones and his students spent hours dissecting the topic from every angle.

As part of a particularly meaningful community service initiative, the Chuckatuck Junto Club paid for the license for the course from the Richmond Justice Initiative. The General Federation of Women’s Clubs in Virginia has taken on what it calls “Step Up to Stop Human Trafficking” as a two-year project, and the Junto Club’s donation was an excellent way to do their part for this initiative.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of commercial sex act or labor, often agricultural or domestic work. Victims can be any age, race, gender or nationality and come from any socioeconomic status.

Jones, the teacher, said the lessons dispelled a lot of myths for his students. It’s not like in Hollywood movies, he said.

“It opened their eyes to the fact that it might be people, literally, at this school, who might be vulnerable to this because of their home situation,” he said.

We applaud the IB program and the Chuckatuck Junto Club’s partnership to impart these important lessons to our students.