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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Recommended Protocols for Schools San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)


Aug. 24, 2018


Dear Superintendents,

Human trafficking in San Diego County generates approximately $810 million dollars of the underground commercial sex economy each year. Locally, 110 gangs are involved in the commercial exploitation of people. There are at least 8,000 human trafficking survivors each year, and the average age they became victims is 16. More than 80 percent of survivors are U.S. citizens, and many are recruited from our middle and high schools.

These shocking statistics from the 2016 study The Nature and Extent of Gang Involvement in Sex Trafficking in San Diego County are a powerful reminder of the scope of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). As leaders, we can play an important role in changing these statistics.

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) is dedicated to supporting our county’s school districts as they address CSEC by providing professional development, technical assistance, and consultation in prevention and intervention best practices to address the potential or actual victimization of our students. SDCOE represents the education sector in numerous countywide efforts, working alongside key partners in supporting collective approaches to address systemwide practices to safeguard our youth.

By taking a proactive approach to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children, we are more likely to reduce the incidents of human trafficking in our schools. Critical to this is the adoption of districtwide protocols. SDCOE staff members worked closely with key stakeholders to create the CSEC Recommended Protocols for Schools . This document provides information on:

  • Risk factors and recommended protocol for those students who meet the criteria
  • Recommended protocol for suspected CSEC recruitment or exploitation of students
  • Recommended protocol for suspected victims of CSEC
  • Recommended protocol for confirmed victims of CSEC
  • Mandated reporting for CSEC (effective Jan. 1, 2016)
  • School/district partner contacts
  • Glossary of terms

We are providing these recommended protocols as a tool to assist our school districts. Please note the protocols should be adapted to accurately reflect district practice, as appropriate.

If you have any questions, please contact Violeta Mora at or 858-292-3661.

Thank you for your continued dedication to the protection of all our students.



Dr. Paul Gothold

San Diego County Superintendent of Schools


phone: 858-292-3514

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