This month RLR had the exciting opportunity to be in Sandra Day O’Connor’s health classes for the 3rd consecutive semester! Between last semester and this semesters’ classes, we reached nearly every freshmen student on campus with awareness! We are extremely thankful for an administration and teachers that recognize the importance of these presentations, and allow us to come back every semester! What a great opportunity!
The students this year had a different experience than the students last academic year. Instead of only presenting for two days, we presented for three days! The first day included information about what sex trafficking is, recruitment methods, and signs of a trafficker. The second focused on a survivor story, and became self-reflective as students were able to identify vulnerabilities they have that might make them susceptible to trafficking. The third day is were it gets kind of interested. Day 1 and 2 focus on the students being victims, but the 3rd day opens their eyes to the fact that they might be perpetrators.
Now most high schoolers don’t buy and are not going to by sex; and if they do it most likely won’t be for years. However, a large amount of high schoolers do view pornography. Out of all the information we give them, this has probably proven to be the most relevant and impactful.
Brandon takes charge of the 3rd day starting with the basics of what porn is and how it physically affects the brain, relates that to the demand it creates for prostitution, and ties it together with stories of trafficked victims exploited through pornography. A porn viewer is never able to tell if the people they are watching are performing willingly or not. Outside of the natural awkwardness that is always present as soon as Brandon says the word “porn,” there is definitely tension in the room once these points are made. The students have bought into the atrocity of sex trafficking for two days, and now the ones who view porn are faced with the reality that they might be directly contributing to it!
Brandon does not end it at that though: he closes with a story of redemption from porn addiction, alleviating unnecessary shame, giving students hope for recovery, and empowering them with resources to start down that road.
Last semester was our first time giving this presentation, with a student telling us that he finally realizes the impact porn has had on him and is committed to stop looking. This year, multiple boys came back to the teacher’s room after the presentation to have him pass on their gratitude for everything Brandon said. One even approached us, expressing his desire and failure to stop looking at porn. Brandon was able to connect with him, provide him recovery resources, and continue to check up on him.
God is doing amazing work and triggering the hearts of students to chase after his holiness! It is evident they desperately desire it, many just don’t know it’s Jesus they’re searching for. Continue to pray for these students. God has always had his hand on O’Connor in a special way; pray that he would be made famous in ways that I never saw during my years of attendance.