Did you know that every 30 seconds someone becomes a victim of modern-day slavery? Or that there are 48.8M slaves in the world today? 22% are sex slaves. And I’m embarrassed to say that Texas is ranked #2 in the nation for the most reported human trafficking cases. The average age an American girl enters the sex trade is 13. And shockingly, 400 trafficked, underage teens work the streets of Dallas each night. And finally, there are illegal massage business working trafficked girls by schools and even in our wealthiest neighborhoods . . . think about it.
A well-educated citizenry is an economic and social necessity. Policy makers, educators, and parents all over the world want students to understand and be able to apply their knowledge of math, reading, and science. Yet improving educational outcomes has proved elusive. Some countries, states and municipalities have made great strides, but many continue to struggle. Educators continue to debate what matters and what works.
On Sunday, a day we as a nation set aside to honor fathers and the bonds of family, I was among the millions of Americans who watched images of children who have been torn from their parents. In the six weeks between April 19 and May 31, the Department of Homeland Security has sent nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers or foster care. More than 100 of these children are younger than 4 years old. The reason for these separations is a zero-tolerance policy for their parents, who are accused of illegally crossing our borders.