I’m fortunate to be able to travel and attend school bus events, trade shows, and activities across the country. When I come across a program that really makes a difference, I do what I can to get that message out. This is a message that everyone in the transportation industry should receive.
There are inherently hard topics to talk about or even acknowledge. Human trafficking is one of those topics. Until the 2018 NAPT and NASDPTS Conferences, human trafficking was something I’ve only seen in movies. The reality is that trafficking happens every day and in every corner of the United States (and the World).
- According to PolarisProject.org, since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received reports of 34,700 sex trafficking cases inside the United States.
- Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.8 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally.
Annie Sovcik, the Program Director for Busing on the Lookout (BOTL), presented to State Directors at the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation (NASDPTS) Conference AND again to delegates at the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Conference. She also took to the Trade Show floor with DVDs and program materials to relay the message to as many willing ears as possible. The pupil transportation industry, from district to state levels, is already embracing this training.
Busing on the Lookout (BOTL) is a logical expansion of the extremely successful Truckers Against Trafficking training geared toward truck drivers. The program for commercial and school bus drivers broadens the network of observing and reporting individuals that law enforcement organizations rely on to recover victims and make arrests.
From the BOTL website: When building an army to fight a crime like human trafficking, the bus industry has a key role to fill. Through their sheer numbers, extensive travels, and the nature of their jobs, members of the bus industry—commercial and school—are uniquely positioned to provide an extra set of eyes and ears for law enforcement in recovering victims and arresting traffickers.
This is a free training program and certification that should be completed by, frankly, everyone – especially if you frequently travel, are involved in the transportation industry, or are around children. In order to complete the BOTL certification program, you must register, watch the video, and take a short quiz. My personal experience is that it’s a painless registration process to access the material and well worth the effort considering the training empowers YOU to take steps that could end up saving a life.
- Take action and complete the training.
- Tell your Safety and Training Coordinator about BOTL training and certification.
- Help make a difference in the fight against human trafficking.
TL;DR: Take the free Busing on The Lookout (BOTL) training to learn how to recognize and report human trafficking. Free Training.