INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – State authorities are using a new training video so educators know what to look for in child exploitation cases.
They say teachers are often the first line of defense when it comes to protecting children outside of the home.
Police say the good ones use their authority to build trust. But say the bad ones use it to take advantage of children.
In a 12-minute video authorities call that “grooming.” It’s when teachers or school staff buy students gifts and gives them added attention or affection.
The video was released by the Internet Crimes Against Children Indiana Task Force.
The task force includes the US Attorney’s Office, Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Education.
The video shows what other teachers should look out for and who to call if something is suspected.
“Generally humans are born with a sixth sense. We can tell when something is wrong, when something is inappropriate when something is dangerous,” said Chuck Cohen of the Indiana State Police. “What you need to do as a school administrator is trust that intuition, trust that instinct.”
“We obviously want to keep children safe, that’s one of our number one priorities, is to make sure that children when they go to school that they exist in a safe environment, that they study and learn in a safe environment,” said Adam Baker of the Indiana Department of Education
The video also included Darrell Hughes. His case originated in 2014. He was a school counselor in New Castle. He’s serving 22 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting children.
“There were definitely things that I was doing to make them feel more comfortable about things. I was purchasing things, I was offering to them,” he said.
Hughes appeared in the video as part of his plea agreement.
In the more recent case against Kyle Cox, he’ll also be talking to investigators about *how he took advantage of students.
Cox is the Park Tudor basketball coach who pleaded guilty to sexting with students.