Osceola County

Osceola County school bus drivers trained to spot possible human trafficking victims

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Staff members at several school districts across Central Florida have gone through a lot of new training this year.

Most of it has been for COVID-19 safety measures. But the school district of Osceola County announced it can’t ignore a different crisis.

Osceola County Public Schools is working to train all staff on human trafficking awareness.

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The district first trained its bus drivers.

Ronald Coffee is going into his second year of driving buses for the school district of Osceola County.

“With COVID-19, a lot has changed,” Coffee said.

Coffee said he enforces all the coronavirus protocols on his bus.

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The school district has also trained almost every bus driver on how to identify victims of human trafficking.

“I think it’s a really important topic,” said Antonia Rapinesi, with social services for Osceola County Public School. “And it’s really kind of something that’s in the dark. It’s like a secret.”

With the help of the Osceola County Department of Corrections, all school district staff will soon be trained in human trafficking awareness.

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The training started three weeks ago.

So far, no bus driver has reported seeing any signs of human trafficking.

The school district is hoping to train cafeteria staff next month.