AG Balderas Announces Back To School Human Trafficking Awareness Training Aimed At Providing Educators With Tools To Save Lives

From the Office of Attorney General Hector Balderas:

ALBUQUERQUE – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas, in partnership with education leaders from around the state, announced training dates for the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office’s Back to School Human Trafficking Awareness and Incident Tool Response Training for School Personnel.

This training will help educators identify signs of possible human trafficking, and provide recommendations for how to respond to concerns about potential human trafficking cases.

“We have seen proof that this training works,” Balderas said. “It has saved lives, and with the support of our partners in education from around New Mexico, it will continue to do so. We are excited to present this vital training opportunity to the people closest to New Mexican children.”

Partnering with the Attorney General’s Office on this training are Albuquerque Public Schools, Las Cruces Public Schools, Santa Fe Public Schools, the American Teachers Federation – New Mexico, and the National Education Association – New Mexico.

“The rise of human trafficking is alarming and I applaud Attorney General Balderas for proactively bringing this training directly to school districts,” said Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Veronica Garcia. “This training is critical for all personnel who work with children in preventing abuse.”

“Our number one priority is providing the students of Albuquerque Public Schools with a safe, productive place to learn,” said Albuquerque Public School Superintendent Raquel Reedy. “This training will prepare our teachers and staff with the education they need to do their part to keep our children safe.”

“There is no question this training will have a positive impact – not only on our staff, but also on the students of Las Cruces Public Schools, said LCPS Superintendent Greg Ewing. “We are proud to partner with Attorney General Hector Balderas, and excited to provide this important learning opportunity to our employees. By learning to better identify the signs of abuse and human trafficking, we will be better prepared to keep the students we serve safe.

“AFT New Mexico is proud to partner with AG Hector Balderas to provide and expand this important training to as many public educators as possible,” said AFT New Mexico President Stephanie Ly. “AG Balderas has been a national leader in combatting human trafficking, and his focus on equipping educators with the tools they need to recognize and report suspected instances of abuse or trafficking is a much needed service for the well-being of our students, families, and communities. We thank him for recognizing that educators can play a critical role in this process.”

“Successful learning in public schools requires a safe learning environment in which each and every student can succeed,” said NEA New Mexico President Betty Patterson. “We applaud Attorney General Balderas for helping to inform educators about how to identify dangerous conditions in our students’ lives.”

New to this year’s training is the introduction of a new, free “incident response” tool sponsored by the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. This new tool will focus on answering questions related to technology-related incidents involving children. The interactive tool helps educators understand how to respond in these situations.

This training is offered in:

  • Albuquerque July 31 and Aug. 7;
  • Santa Fe Aug. 9; and
  • Las Cruces Aug. 10.
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