It is ugly, despicable, life destroying behaviour and it takes places in our community – to our children.

By Pepper Parr

March 24th, 2023



It is ugly, despicable, life destroying behaviour and it takes places in our community – to our children.

The Halton District School Board (HDSB) is now providing families with information and resources to address and prevent sex trafficking.

Students live on their cell phones where they can be manipulated.

The vast majority of sex trafficking victims are under 24 years of age and approximately 30 per cent are reported to fall between 13-18 years of age. This is why the Ontario Ministry of Education is requiring school boards to educate students and staff about sex trafficking and promote safety by taking meaningful, culturally-responsive and consistent action to prevent and respond to issues of safety and inappropriate behaviours.

Teachers are in touch with their students every day – they spot changes in behaviour – the first sign that something could be wrong.

Due to almost daily contact with students, teachers and other education staff are well placed to educate on prevention and promote healthy relationships, notice troubling changes in behaviour, and connect with students as caring adults. By training staff to recognize the signs of sex trafficking, they will be better equipped to identify the cues and safely intervene if they suspect a student is being trafficked or involved in trafficking. Education can also serve as a key factor in helping survivors of trafficking heal and rebuild their lives, helping to prevent re-victimization and resetting students on a healing trajectory towards positive outcomes.

The HDSB’s Anti-Sex Trafficking webpage has resources and information about the important steps being taken in our Board to recognize, prevent and respond to sex trafficking. Families can find video resources that cover three important topics:

• Anti-Sex Trafficking Awareness for Parents/Guardians
• Interview with Parent of an Anti-Sex Trafficking Survivor
• Student Personal Devices and Online Safety

The webpage also includes the Halton Anti-Sex Trafficking School Board Protocol, Administrative Procedure: Anti-Sex Trafficking and information about annual staff training and education in the HDSB.

The Gazette urges parents to be part of educating your children.  It is an ugly subject – help your children understand and save them from that experience.

Jennifer Fowler, Superintendent of Education – Safe Schools.

“The HDSB is committed to upholding and championing human rights and this is embedded in so much of what we do every day. Through the HDSB’s 2020-2024 Strategic Multi-Year Plan, we incorporate principles of equity and inclusive education into all aspects of our operations, structures, policies, procedures, guidelines and practices, consistent with the principles of the Ontario Human Rights Code,” says Jennifer Fowler, Superintendent of Education – Safe Schools.

“As a Board, we have been actively partnering with community groups and school boards across the region to address the unique and specific needs of our Halton community. Action by schools, families and community partners together will help prevent, identify and recognize sex trafficking to act quickly to ensure appropriate interventions.”

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.