University of Nebraska-Lincoln students helped collect data to produce a report on the prevention of human trafficking that could be used in Nebraska schools.
Sriyani Tidball, a former assistant professor of practice in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and advocate against human trafficking, led the research to understand the best way to share an educational program that can be used in school systems.
Dr. Shireen Rajaram, associate professor of public health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, was a co-investigator on the study and helped with data analysis.
The students involved were Molly George, Kamryn Sannicks, Jayden Garrett, Maddyson Meuret and Celie Knudsen. They were students in Tidball’s Social Justice, Human Rights and the Media class.
The students collected background information on educational programs developed and implemented in other states regarding human-trafficking prevention in the school systems.
According to George, a graduate student in the integrated media communications program, some states had legislated training for teachers about human trafficking and students’ safety while others provided optional programs targeted toward teachers and students.
California is the only state that has human trafficking education legislated for students, George said.
One of Tidball’s goals is to eventually create a program in Nebraska, beginning with Lincoln Public Schools.
Her hope is that eventually this program would be compulsory in Nebraska schools.
“The support, collaboration and interest among our partners in being a part of the solution was commendable, and together we have completed the first part of the study,” Tidball said. “It is our hope that we can raise funds to develop the curriculum and test it for effectiveness so we can have an impactful intervention available to all schools in Nebraska.”
The Lincoln Community Foundation, Humanities Nebraska, the university and a few concerned Nebraska citizens funded the study. It can be found here.