SMYRNA — Campbell High School students learned about the prevalence of human trafficking in the metro Atlanta area both behind and in front of the camera last semester.
Former Campbell teacher Lisa Watson — now the Cobb School District’s assistant communications director — and eight of her video production students created a 30-second public service announcement highlighting the dangers of human trafficking to submit to the Indiana-based KinderVision Foundation’s Greatest Save Teen Public Service Announcement Contest.
Schools located near Major League Baseball teams can compete in the contest with the goal of increasing awareness of forms of teen victimization such as dating violence and sexual assault. The Greatest Save program is a recognized charity of Major League Baseball.
According to the Greatest Save, one in four girls will be a victim of sexual abuse while one in seven youth will be sexually solicited online. The nonprofit also says 14 to 17 year olds are the most at risk age group to be preyed upon by sexual predators.
The Campbell video production class’s video was named the best in the Atlanta Braves area, and the team placed 8th out of the 30 professional baseball franchise areas for its video, “The Transaction,” that portrayed how runaways become easy targets to become victims of human trafficking.
Watson said the students were initially hesitant to tackle the subject of sex trafficking, but they became more passionate about the issue when they discovered Atlanta is one of the largest sex trafficking hubs in the country.
“They got completely immersed in the project especially after they did some research and became aware of the problem (sex trafficking) in Atlanta,” she said.
Campbell senior Jordan McKinley, an intern with the Cobb School District’s communication office, said he was surprised how big of a problem human trafficking is in the metro Atlanta area, especially in connection with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and MARTA.
“Usually I thought this was underground stuff,” he said. “Once we realized how close to home it was, it really hit home.”
The high school students treated the highly-sensitive topic in a delicate and effective way, Watson said, which helps communicate the dangers of sex trafficking to other high school and middle school students.
As winners of the Atlanta Braves’ region, Campbell’s video production class’s video is now distributed across the country as a teaching tool to help increase awareness of the dangers of sex trafficking.
“They’re part of the best of the best DVD,” Watson said.
With an emphasis on preparing the students for a career after high school graduation, Watson said the students not only learned how to handle a contentious issue in a professional manner, but they also learned teamwork and soft skills lessons.
Campbell’s winning video can be viewed on the Greatest Save’s YouTube channel.