Students Successfully Advocate for Florida School Requirement

FSU Law 2L Mylena Chin-See presenting to the State Board of Education in September 2019

This semester, students participating in the FSU Human Trafficking Exploitation Law Project (HELP) advocated for a proposed Florida Department of Education (DOE) rule that requires all school districts in Florida to teach human trafficking prevention from elementary school through high school. Law students researched the state laws of California, Virginia and North Carolina pertaining to implementing preventative measure in schools and drafted comments to the DOE rule to make it a robust, meaningful requirement for Florida school districts. 

In September 2019, the students presented in favor of their comments in person at the State Board of Education meeting in Jacksonville, where the board adopted their comments verbatim and passed the rule. The new rule went into effect on November 6, 2019. By December 1 of each year, school districts must post their implementation plans. By July 1, each school district must submit an annual report verifying compliance. 

“This is a major accomplishment in the prevention of trafficking of children in Florida,” said Paolo Annino, director of the FSU Public Interest Law Center. “We are hoping that the new rule will teach K-12 students how to protect themselves from traffickers and will make children who are victims of trafficking feel safe to seek help from school personnel.”

FSU Law students participating in the project are 2L Mylena Chin-See, 3L Daniela Donoso and 2L Marissa Vairo. The FSU Human Trafficking Exploitation Law Project has two objectives: to represent individual children who are victims of human trafficking and to advocate for law reform. The ultimate goal of the project is to prevent vulnerable children from being trafficked.

Published on November 12, 2019