The girls looked 16 and were almost certainly selling themselves along the 40 blocks in Oakland called the Track, an area considered a national hot spot of child trafficking, says the San Francisco Chronicle. Barbara McClung of the Oakland school district hopes to give every seventh-grader in an Oakland public middle school an education on sexual exploitation and how to stop it. The curriculum was created by Love Never Fails, a nonprofit that works to protect and remove youths from child trafficking. Educating boys would be just as critical as educating girls, McClung said.
“One of the things we hope will come out of the program is deterring boys from becoming pimps,” she said. “That’s one thing some aspire to be: a pimp.” Students more at risk for exploitation – those with prior abuse or time spent in unstable homes, for example – would be eligible for a six- to eight-week group program with individual mentoring. It will cost up to $50,000 per year to bring the curriculum into all the district’s 15 middle schools – money the district doesn’t currently have, McClung said. An estimated 100 children are sold for sex in Oakland on any given night, say the West Coast Children’s Clinic and local police. Many are 12 to 14 years old when they start.