Human trafficking high school sex scandal hits close to home

Recent events at South Fort Myers High School has brought attention to the serious problem that is human trafficking.
A teenage girl was accused of having sex with 25 boys over the span of an hour in the boys’ bathroom. The girl had been a student at the high school for only two weeks when this event took place.
The real story has come from the girl’s mother speaking out by having a friend speak to local news about the incident. The girl went into the boys’ bathroom to talk to a boy that she was interested in, and when the boy wanted sex, the girl agreed. She slept with a few of the boys while the others watched. These acts were recorded, put on social media and continue to circulate.
The girl has a history of human trafficking. At one point, a man held her captive for two years and sold her for sex. Since she was, and continues to be, classified as a “runaway,” any help she and her mother had tried to get her previously was hard to find. When she was able to get help, it never focused on the human trafficking aspect of the girl’s history, so she never received the help she desperately needed.
Now, instead of this high school sex scandal bringing the fact that she needs treatment to the forefront, she is being attacked online for her actions. The girl has been pulled out of school by her mother since the incident.
Sixteen of the 25 boys have been punished for what they partook in. The girl’s mother does not want to press charges, but she does want something done about the videos and pictures circulating online. She feels that what her daughter needs right now is support regardless of what her daughter has done in the past.
If we are being honest with ourselves, given the girl’s history, who can disagree with that? Human trafficking is serious problem that causes serious damage to the innocent people who are in the human trafficking rings. Someone who has gone through what she has is not competent enough to make decisions having to do with sex so soon after that kind of trauma.
Social media, and the internet in general, has acted as an outlet of communication of both the good and bad variety. It allows anyone who is reading this a way to see it, but it also allows people to see videos and images of people that we would never want seen if the situation were reversed.
This girl is just an example of what can happen to people who are victims of human trafficking. On the surface, the story looks like it is about a girl who made poor decisions and landed herself in the middle of a sex scandal, but it goes much further than that. This girl has been through enough and needs time to heal.
Human trafficking affects both girls and boys and needs to be seen as a serious issue. Its victims should not be shamed for what happened to them and what comes with the aftermath of that. In this case, the aftermath took the form of this high school sex scandal.
Given that I am a resident of Cape Coral, a city just outside of Fort Myers, I can say from firsthand experience that this is a big deal. Almost every local news station has given this story its full attention.
As an incoming freshman at FGCU, the experiences associated with high school are still fresh in my mind. This type of situation has never occurred at my high school, but if it did, what is happening as a result would infuriate me. The situation makes me sad and angry as it is, but the thought of it happening in my own high school puts those emotions into perspective.
Before a person records or takes pictures of someone who is in a situation like the one this girl had found herself in and posts it online, he or she should consider the repercussions. That person is probably not aware of the girl’s history and should consider his or her lack of knowledge about the girl before doing something like that.
The viewers of these videos and images should not pass judgement on the girl before hearing the full story, which is my main point. It is never a good idea, nor is it fair, to judge someone based on one small part of the person’s life that one knows about without the full context.
I think we can all agree that if we knew that girl or if we were in her position, we would want the same respect and time that she and her mother are requesting. Human trafficking is a pressing issue found in today’s society and should be viewed and discussed accordingly.