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Teachers Are Informed

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
January 20, 2024 12:00 pm

Teachers Are Informed

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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January 20, 2024 12:00 pm

 Today, Robby is joined by Ren with Lantern Rescue to discuss what middle school teachers are doing help their students and parents make a difference and informing them about the seriousness of human trafficking.

 A warning: this program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised.

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If you or someone you know has experienced exploitation call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) at 1-888-373-7888.

Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
Truth Talk
Stu Epperson

This is Andy Thomas from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we discover what it means to be a wholehearted man. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds.

Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Time to light the way to freedom. This is Lantern Rescue. We tell the stories, we talk about rescues, and we empower you to do something about it.

William Wilberforce once said, Let it not be said I was silent when they needed me. This is Lantern Rescue. Welcome to Lantern Rescue. It's one of the heartbeats of Lantern Rescue has been, you know, why do parents need to know about human trafficking and what do they need to know? And, you know, that's always been the heartbeat of Lantern Rescue in so many different ways. And we got a real opportunity today to share that, right?

Yeah, absolutely. So really excited about who we have on today. We have Becky and Taylor, who are two teachers that have had some passion for this topic for a while and are trying to help educate others on how to educate on these topics to young kids that are at risk and that may not be personally at risk, but might know someone that is. So I had the opportunity recently to go and speak to two of Becky's health classes and speak to her wonderful students about human trafficking and some of the indicators and some of the ways that kids can be subjected to these things. And they, the class had some amazing questions for me. They were super receptive.

And it really showed me and got me excited that not only will kids listen, but they're invested in protecting themselves if you give them the opportunity to do that. Wow. How cool.

How cool is that? And so, Becky, from your perspective, what brought this on? Well, one of the things that we try to do with our students is to get them involved with their community and the different agencies that we have going on in our area that can be something that could help them later. So I'm not always going to be their health teacher. I'm not always going to be the person that they can come to and just, you know, ask questions if they get in a situation where they need that help. Although I a little side note, I have had students that are now adults several times reach out to me as a resource. So sometimes that actually does happen.

But in most cases, we're not going to be there to, you know, hold their hands through their entire lives. So one of the things that we do is we try to bring in as many different community agencies as we can to get them those skills and the knowledge of who do I go to and how do I advocate for myself and get that information that I need to get so I can keep myself safe. And when I learned about Lancer Rescue, I was all in. And there's just there's just so much information out there. And there's just so much that we need to protect our kids from that. I just couldn't wait to ask to bring them into the class.

Absolutely. And so from your perspective, I imagine I know they've opened my eyes many times. What kind of opened your eyes like, Oh, my goodness, I hadn't thought of that. Well, certainly, I mean, we've had we've had different people come in and discuss human trafficking. But one of the things that I think not only my eyes, but also the students eyes is that literally anybody can be trafficked, and anyone can be the trafficker. So one of the things that they that they're really shocked by is that it could even be your own parents. I think a lot of them really, really took that to heart and realized, hey, not everybody has the same situation in life that I have. And I think just thinking that way will even impact how, how they treat each other. So you go from teaching one small, specific thing. And, you know, it just builds and builds into, you know, being a whole human being overall think that's so important. Yeah, that's that is something that it seemed crazy the first time I heard it, but quite often, it is actually the parents or an uncle or an aunt, especially, you know, where they've, you know, taken a child that wasn't originally theirs.

It's, it's, it's absolutely terrifying. Yeah. And so Taylor is also with us today. And, and Taylor, you're a teacher as well in that seventh and eighth grade kind of 12 to 14 year olds.

And so, Taylor, tell us about your involvement. So one of the things that we promote in our classroom is the connectivity to the community outside of the school, and how important it is for the kids to be involved. And what we found over the years is little relationships, whether it's with a coach, whether it's with a teacher, whether it's with someone they met at a camp, it goes a long way and recognizing the warning signs for something so terrible as human trafficking. You know, we know our students sometimes better than people within their family, and their friendships, recognize warning signs. So you know, we are able to see little changes in a kid that maybe somebody that didn't see them every single day would. And, you know, we really encourage the kids, once they leave the school doors, to stay busy outside of school, so that they don't, you know, get involved in things that are questionable with way too much free time.

Right. And another thing I was thinking about, Taylor, as I was listening to Becky and you, that, you know, you hadn't really thought about, or I had not thought about, that as one student learns about this, that actually they can protect the other students as well, because they're a lot more likely to come to another student and say, wow, I'm kind of involved in this. It's kind of scary than they would be, right, a teacher or something. Yeah, that empowerment happens a lot in middle school where they start to step in with their friends and say, you know, hey, I recognize the change in you, what's going on? And we've started to train our students to be those allies within their friends lives. You know, they'll step up and say, you know, I've noticed that this relationship you have with this person you're dating is not good. Or I've noticed that you don't sleep at night.

Why are you texting me at four o'clock in the morning? You know that they so often will be that person, that voice in their friend's life. And it is pretty cool to see that evolution from the elementary school age, middle school, they start to get that confidence to step in in their friends lives. And then it just evolves from there. Yeah, go ahead.

Oh, sorry about that. I just wanted to add, it's interesting that you said the word protect, because in the health education realm, we actually call having those relationships, and having those other things that you can go out and do in your community. And those other activities that that you love to be involved in, we actually call them protective factors. So they're absolutely things that can help keep those kids safe, not just from human trafficking, but help them make good decisions in all of their lives.

Right, right. And as they become more aware with all the agencies that you're talking about that, you know, the more that they would clearly be in a position to help their friends and be more, you know, obviously, educated and all that. Wren, I guess you had some sense of this, but is this something that you're we're expanding?

Expanding in the sense of doing more of this kind of stuff in the US? Exactly. Yeah. So you know, I have a I have a personal connection to Becky.

So that's kind of hooked up with her. But definitely something that we're that we are interested in expanding and hoping that other people start to want to integrate this. And I think starting with them, starting in this class was such a great jump off point, because it wasn't me forcing this idea on someone, it was, you know, people that are already very receptive to it already doing their own work in it. And kind of uniting that and, and moving forward and having and being in Becky's classroom, she has such a great connection with the kids. And I really do believe that it was really cool to see. I really do believe that We're like our own little family. They are, they really are.

Yeah, it was so cute. You know, I really do believe that if they ever had any issues, they would feel very comfortable going to her. But if the kids don't know that what's happening to them is an issue, if they don't know that that is wrong, they can't, they can't go to her, right?

So they, you know, you can't see what you don't know. So yeah, we're definitely interested in expanding this and uniting with teachers across the country, to have them start having these conversations with students and us helping guide that and then helping them helping us guide that because, you know, prior to me going into her classroom, I was like, Can I say this? What do you think about this? Do you think that we're, you know, it's a, it's a back and forth. It's not me imposing my curriculum on her and her, you know, it was it was a united thing that we did that day. So, yeah.

Yeah, I think it's fabulous. And, you know, the ramifications, all the connections, I hadn't really perceived until y'all started to describe it. And I and I know that, you know, these, this is a very, very vulnerable group.

Like, 12 year olds are very, very, this is like a target market for the traffickers, right? Oh, yeah, yeah, absolutely. You go ahead.

You go ahead, Becky, if you've got something to say, go for it. Well, I, from experience, I can I can say and I explained this to the kids. Look, guys, it's not that we're saying you are stupid.

Do you know the term naive? And we go all through that and everything. And it's just that you don't have enough life experiences yet, to maybe make the best decision for yourself. So I've had students in the past, one individual as an example, that went so far as to agree to meet up with somebody that she didn't know, she was convinced that this person, you know, was a guy that that was very interested in her that they were boyfriend, girlfriend, you know, all the classic sign. And the strangest thing I don't know, I don't think she was planning to meet with this certain individual. But later, several months later, after we had had this issue, my husband and I were on our way to church. And I said, Hey, that's so and so stop pull over. And the student of mine was waiting for someone she had met online to come back pick her up.

Oh, my God, yeah. So we called the local police, and they came and got her and they returned her to her house. The student in particular had some issues with sneaking out a lot and doing that kind of thing. But in her case, she was just really so incredibly naive that she she didn't believe us when we said somebody could come and do you harm. What a story and what a divine right. God has had you right there at that particular moment. I said I cannot believe that is that individual thought you have to go back. And sure enough, there she was. Yeah.

God gives us eyes to see at times. Well, we have got to go to a break. I'm sure you're going to want to hear more of of what we need to know for our kids when it comes to this with both Taylor and Becky and Ren. We'll be right back.

Stay tuned. Lantern Rescue is a USA based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Lantern specializes in sending former US Special Operation law enforcement and intelligence personnel to partner with host nations and assist them in creating specialized units to combat ongoing security problems, such as genocide, terrorism, and human trafficking.

As a nonprofit charity, they offer services free of charge to their host nations. Human trafficking has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated 150 billion dollars in annual activity. Lantern Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Lantern operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery and facilitates holistic aftercare services.

They're gearing up for operations right now and you can go to to see how you can support them financially. Welcome back to Lantern Rescue and today's episode. Wow, we've got just a wonderful report from teachers and the way that the word's getting out to parents and students about human trafficking and we have two wonderful teachers with us, both Becky and Taylor. And so, Ren, when you listened to that story earlier about Becky seeing that child on the side of the road, it kind of raised some things you wanted to talk about. Yeah, so that was actually the first time I've heard that story. And it really highlights that when you are in these roles where you're interacting with kids and with vulnerable individuals that you have to do more than just be with them in the classroom.

Like, how easily could Becky have just kept driving that day and then like, nope, didn't see that. But she had an awareness of that child to know that, hey, this is something that had been going on with them before they were, you know, looking into meeting up with someone that they met online and then to see them and to actually stop and to have that interaction and I know that teachers are not paid super well. So I know that people aren't teachers for a paycheck solely, but you have to do so much more than just collect your paycheck and go home. And these environments with these children, it's that extra step that really protects lives and that investment in their lives that, in this case, really protected this child. And, you know, how many other kids could that have been beneficial for and other teachers out around the country around the world that should be looking out for their students in the same way? I just think that's like such a cool story and such a cool way to highlight how committed Becky is to her students and looking out for them. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely beautiful.

And so hey, can I actually ask rent a question? What? Thank you for your nice compliment. But I was always left wondering, what else can I do to make this student understand the severity of this issue? Because it was like an ongoing thing. And it was almost like no matter what we said or did, it was just something that kind of kept happening. Do you have any advice for how to get to those kids that are just like, nope, I'm not scared. I'm not I'm not concerned at all. What do we do?

You know, that is a super hard question. And then my I guess my follow up question would be, do you would you did you contact the parents or guardians in any way? Yes. Because when we called the police, and they returned her home, we had made sure we'd followed up really thoroughly with the police so that they would give a full report of kind of what was going on. We did actually when we initially had those meetings, we did have the parents come in and meet us with that. So yeah, we we did do that. I was just at a loss. This individual is just such a challenge.

Yeah, yeah. So and you did everything that realistically you could do in that situation. And contact, you know, having those continued conversations, there are some like sex torsion as a movie that's out that shows kind of a sort of similar situation where a girl meets several girls that they document over it, they meet guys online, and they think they're one person, they end up being someone else. So stuff like that, maybe providing resources like that. But in that situation, you did everything you could, I would just say to not stop trying to help because some people get frustrated. And they're like, Well, I did everything I could, I'm done. Sometimes you have to continue to be repetitive and, you know, kind of make yourself redundant a little in that you keep saying the same thing. But I think in that situation, I don't think there is much more you could do that I'm seeing one has a different perspective. But short of the parents taking away the cell phone and taking away their online communication, which you can't as an educator, you can't control that.

You could write that, but that's all I could see. Yeah, yeah, that was a weird, that was a strange situation. There was even I think, that student didn't even have their own cell phone, they would steal the cell phone from one of the parents without them knowing. Yeah, it was a real challenge. Wow.

Yeah. Well, speaking of parents, I know, Taylor, you know, you had some, you know, really needed information for parents. I mean, what what appearance, you know, how can they get involved with this level? Parents just need to know in the health classroom, we are attempting to tackle very difficult but relevant topics that are going on throughout the world. You know, human trafficking is something that, you know, a lot of people don't think about talking over the dinner table or having everyday conversations in a classroom about, but we, Becky and I, we really look at what's going on in the world every single school year and try to address these type of topics just to protect our students. You know, there's dangers lurking out in the world that some parents don't even know what to look for. And we try to empower our students to make good choices when they go out in the world and use the skills that we teach in the classroom to apply to, you know, things that they're choosing to do outside of their parents house, maybe things that they know about and things that they don't know about. Well, from a teacher's perspective, what's a good way for a parent to get involved with you guys?

And what's a bad way? In other words, so the worst way is to assume that we're doing nothing, because that is the total opposite. We are working every single day to build strong relationships with our students so that they trust us. And they they do really believe the information that we're giving them is valuable.

And then with that trust, they see us as somebody that they can go to if they're dealing with heavy issues at home. And then, you know, if parents want to get involved, we continue to plan activities, school based activities and community based activities, where we're bringing in people like lantern and trying to connect the kids in an informal way with all of these agencies. And we could always use parents that just want to volunteer two hours of their time. I think a lot of parents would be really proud to know that their tax money is going towards these wonderful events that are community based and school based, it all kind of blends together. So what would that two hours look like for the parent? Oh, man, well, Becky and I have had sports tournaments where we've, you know, essentially bullied organizations like lantern into coming in and pulling all their muscles.

And you know, playing a sports activity with the kids. We've had tailgates where we've set up tables, and we've had community organizations just come and present their information. Health system that's in our community. Oh, yeah. We do so much stuff.

It's almost like, how do we list it all? You know, and again, it's it's, if I'm a parent, and I'm listening, like, you guys are health education teachers, I'm sure in every middle school area that they have some type of a curriculum like that. And those, obviously, are the teachers that are, you know, that's, you know, kind of the sex trafficking or health human trafficking area to that would be the most applicable, right? Yeah, absolutely.

Absolutely. I can't think of another area other than the only other area I can think of that people would into it in a school would be probably guidance counselors going out and giving a 30 minute presentation to different groups throughout a school, which is certainly not going to be enough. In our minds, it takes that, you know, repertoire with the students where you're, you are that little family where they feel like they can actually ask you those important questions, not just like, you know, right, just fly in, do presentation and leave. I wanted, I did want to follow up something that Taylor had said, because Ren and I actually talked about this when she was in the school, and you asked about parents and you know, what can parents do? And I think the most important thing parents can do is build a positive relationship with their own child. And know that your kids are watching you, your kids are learning from you, in the things that you model and the ways that you behave. And if you're going to have that good relationship with your kids, I know, remember, Ren, we discussed about, you know, most kids are going to be able to get through your parental controls. But if you have a real good relationship with your kids, that they feel comfortable coming to you, they know that they're not going to get into trouble. As long as they come to you when they're in a situation they need your help in. That is the number one most important thing you can possibly do.

And the really, really great news is the coming attractions. Right, Becky, you guys are really got some great ideas of resources that are going to be available. Absolutely. We are hoping to work with the great individuals at Lantern Rescue and create toolkits for different levels of educators that that they can include and teach about human trafficking and and how to start from way at a young age, you know, what are the things you need to be talking about?

Yeah, we need to do, you know, the stranger danger type stuff, but also we need to be looking at, you know, safety online kids are you getting online at younger and younger ages, and they need to know that not everything out there on the internet is is is a good thing. So that's one of the that's one of the main things we want to focus on is getting some information together and actually creating toolkits with lesson plans and videos and all the good stuff that those educators can use because that's the that's the best way we're going to reach the most amount of kids is through our teachers. Oh, absolutely.

How amazing is that? And Ren, so all this stuff will be available at probably, you know, later this summer, right? Yeah, I think we're going to have the ladies help us make that happen this summer. We'll start working on that and see how quickly we can get that rolling. So stay tuned to the podcast and on the social media and we'll post updates there. And maybe around that time, we can have these ladies on for another podcast or a couple and and have, you know, maybe have this an ongoing thing so that we can all keep checking back in on this.

Right. And it's really, you know, how neat that educators and my own daughter's a teacher, third grade, but nonetheless, you know, she's aware of this kind of thing and to have those resources and go, Oh, well, here's what third third graders could do. And, and that kind of thing, you know, absolutely wonderful stuff.

And again, And so, yeah, and as we kind of wrap this up, Becky, I'm, I'm wondering from your standpoint, how could our listeners pray for you guys, the teachers, how would you want them to be praying for you? I think just keep thinking about, you know, the effort that it does take to, to work with students that are really going through so much. We have all types of students that have been through situations that I can't even imagine going through as an adult.

But they continue to come to school and they, they are trying their hardest. So I think, I think maybe, you know, praying for a little bit of peace on some of their hearts. And I think just pray for some energy for us, overdoing and plugging away.

And Taylor, how about you? I would just ask that they pray that our students who need help, have the courage to use the resources that we've put in place for them. Wow, that's beautiful. Absolutely wonderful. Well, Wren, as we wrap up, if you got some final thoughts for listeners. Yeah, I just thanks everyone for being on this today. And for the listeners out there, there's a lot to take from this episode.

And we could probably go talk to these two ladies for hours. The biggest thing coming out of it was that relationship with your kids. And if you're a guardian, or even if you're an aunt or an uncle, and whatever role you play in a child's life, that relationship is so important so that they feel like they can come to you when these things are going on, because there is no amount of parental controls that's actually going to protect them.

There's no amount of, you know, the boogeyman and don't talk to strangers, that's going to protect them more than having a relationship with someone that they trust and they're able to talk to. So I'm excited for what's coming in the future with these ladies and for educators. And I just thank you guys so much for being on here today.

Yeah, me too. Thank you so much for having us. Yeah, God bless. Thanks, Taylor. Thanks, Wren. And certainly thank you back here.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-20 14:14:57 / 2024-01-20 14:25:31 / 11

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