Alachua County Children's Safety Summit

Published: Feb. 24, 2018 at 5:54 PM EST
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Educators…parents an police meet to discuss issues in kids safety like human trafficking.

Tv 20's Landon Harrar shows us the progress being made to make sure your kids have the proper training to make good decisions regarding their safety.

"The average age of a child being groomed into human trafficking is somewhere around 12."

Statistics like these and real life stories got the conversation started letting everyone in attendance know human trafficking is something that happens in Gainesville.

The Vice-president of Alachua County's Council of PTA's said "My reaction to these things happening in Gainesville was a little surprised, I've lived in Gainesville my whole life, as a student, now as a mom, as an educator ."

Communications Director for Alachua County School Jackie Jonson said "Very critical topics that are being discussed today coming right out of headlines, t child trafficking and and of course I think people are starting to recognize that those are things that affect every community it doesn't just happen o other people's kids it happens to our kids."

Now there's a new program called RADkids, which every Alachua County Elementary School will have, it's a program designed to give children value and the ability to make informed decisions on their own.

Cary Gallop who also spoke earlier is a Crime Prevention Deputy for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, he explained "You teach them the three principles, nobody has a right to hurt me because I'm special, I don't have the right to hurt anyone else including myself unless someone tries to hurt me and then I have the right to stop them and the last one we teach them is if someone does hurt me, whether its a long time ago, today or tomorrow its not my fault and I can go get help."

Some Alachua County Schools have already received training, one story that stood out, A girl scout selling cookies was able to detect a threat because of her experience in the program.

Rentz re-told the story as "Someone asks for cookies and they kind of asked for them to come over to the car and she told her friend no, I just received rad training and we don't walk over to cars we don't recognize or people e don't recognize."

Johnson added "Other schools are working on the process of fundraising to bring the program in, its not free, so they're working with PTA's and sponsors and other groups to be able to bring in an instructor, figure out a way to schedule it into their schools but that process has already begun and we've already had it in some of our schools."

The summit also covered topics such as the opioid crisis and children's mental health in Alachua County.