Oakdale’s Fight to Bring Awareness to Human Trafficking


Sydney Kubic

Sarah Anderson introducing the panelists at December 8th’s human trafficking forum in the OHS auditorium.

Sydney Kubic, Writer

The start of December also marked the start of Dressember; a month where Oakdale’s chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) works to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking.


“Human trafficking is clearly a problem in our nation and throughout the world that more people need to be informed on,” the advisor to the NHS, Ed Schoder, commented.


This Dressember is the seventh overall time that Oakdale has hosted the event and Schoder’s fourth year of hosting.


Sarah Anderson, a senior, took the lead on planning the event as one of the student members of the NHS.


“I didn’t know too much about this because my leadership project was more about the topic of domestic violence, but I think it’s definitely a good thing to learn about something that’s more of a hidden issue but is important to educate our community about,” Anderson spoke.


One of the major components of Dressember is that any of the participating members of the NHS are to wear a dress or a tie each school day of December. Students are allowed two skips a month.


Hannah Clagett, a senior and member of the NHS, spoke about the events of Dressember: “NHS members are participating not only in dressing up but are also giving presentations about the awareness of human trafficking during SET.  There was also a forum that was held for members to learn about human trafficking..”


Hannah Lebo is another senior and member of the National Honor Society participating in Dressember. “I wanted to participate in Dressember because I wanted to raise awareness for human trafficking. Human trafficking is a real issue that occurs across the globe and can happen to any person regardless of their age, race, gender, or nationality.  It is important that high schoolers understand these dangers so they can keep themselves safe as well as being able to inform others of the dangers.”


Schoder elaborated more on the other aspects of Dressember: “We have several other things planned for Dressember Sarah [Anderson] has created thirty second blurbs for the morning announcements on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We also have posters up in the library about the realities of human trafficking.”


On Wednesday December 8th OHS hosted a forum in the auditorium on human trafficking with Deputy Amber Owens- the OHS resource officer- Narcotics Agent Daniel Schlosser, Ms. Jenn Tousey from Heartly House, and FBI Special Agent Matt Vilcek.


The student question led forum was held as one of the main ways that the NHS is using the month to educate people on the issue.


Students of Oakdale in attendance of the symposium gained new information about how to know the signs of human trafficking and about how people get caught in trafficking.


In the days following the symposium, NHS students will use information they learned from the panelists along with any additional information they wish to research to put together a presentation to teach students in their SET classes more about the horrors of human trafficking.


During the month of December the National Honor Society is spreading awareness to end misconceptions and recognize what human trafficking really looks like.