"Would you put a sign in your front yard for Sam," my former neighbor asked. "He's running for re-election to the school board."
"Sure," I told her, even though I'm not real crazy about campaign signs. I already had one for Prop 35. The one for Sam could prove equally important in the fight against modern-day slavery.
Opal Singleton, director of development for Million Kids, has written a curriculum called "The Love Trap" that educates teens to recognize the tricks traffickers use to enslave their victims. She's presenting it in schools and churches in Riverside and the message needs to spread. If teens learn to recognize the lies of traffickers and understand the consequences of believing them, they'll be a lot less susceptible to a life-altering reality.
As I talked about the need to educate students with Sam's wife, she understood. A sweet young girl who had once lived nearby and played with their little granddaughter had become involved in prostitution. That reality for a 12-year-old who might have been a teacher is tragic. So is the potential for someone like her to now assist pimps by enticing younger girls.
Developing relationships with our school board members and cheering on those who are trustworthy could open doors once the election is over. I hope Sam wins, but if he doesn't, I intend to seek his advice on how to present "The Love Trap," to the school board in a way that will get it adopted by the district.
Come to think of it, Sue's running for office with a different district. Maybe I'll ask her if she'd like to put a sign in my yard too.