Local and national organizations team up to teach students about human trafficking


What’s the best way to catch a teenager’s attention? Try starting with sound and video.

Juniors and seniors at Riverton High School attended a high energy event called “Say Something Assemblies,” which combines a group of national guest speakers as well as local organizations.

The purpose of the event is to help students recongnize and respond correctly to issues that threaten their future, such as bullying, exploitation, suicide, and addiction. In this case, the local organization is LifeChoices.

“And really just to go into our local public schools and share some of the warning signs of what trafficking, what cyber bullying, what’s that all about and why our kids need to be so safe,” explained LifeChoices Executive Director Karolyn Schrage.

Chip Root is a detective with the nearby Joplin Police Department and and says traffickers start to converse with teenagers often times before they even realize what’s going on.

“Technology and the Internet has made it so easy for these predators to get access in our homes with our children, so we just want to give children an opportunity to learn some life skills, if you will, that will help them make better decisions,” Root added.

“Young ladies and young men both have the opportunity to be educated on healthy relationships, human trafficking,” said Riverton High School Principal Chad Harper. “People think this doesn’t happen in our area, but that’s not the case.”

The same group of speakers will be in a number of other high schools in Southeast Kansas and Southwest Missouri later this week.

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