Diane Hawthorne speaks about human trafficking to teachers and staff at Ralph M. Williams Jr. Elementary School.

Human trafficking is much more common than most people think, teachers heard at a recent gathering at Ralph M. Williams Jr. Elementary School.

The school recently had a visit from Diane Hawthorne, the chief administrative officer of Achieve Beautiful Skin Medi-Spa in Viera, who spoke to teachers and staff about human trafficking.

The meeting came about when Christina Rosean, a second-grade teacher at the school, as well as its PIE (Partners in Education) coordinator, and Hawthorne were having a chat.

“She (Hawthorne) mentioned that Brevard County is the third worst for human trafficking. Orlando is the hub and it’s so much more common than we think,” Rosean said. “So, I asked her to come talk to our teachers.”

Regarding human trafficking, things to look out for are kids that are withdrawn, that don’t want to participate or talk, Rosean said. “You see it more in the high schools, but there are elementary kids, too,” she said.

Rosean recommended that parents know who their children are talking to on social media and to know where they are going. It is also important to build up a students’ self-worth, Rosean said.

“This is more prevalent than we think,” she said.

Sixty walkie-talkies were donated to the school.

Hawthorne and Alexander Ash of Tommy’s Express Car Wash split the cost of the walkie-talkies, according to Rosean.

This was a significant donation because “it’s the oldest school in Viera, Rosean said. “We sometimes have an issue with cell phone coverage. Sometimes things happen fast, so to have a walkie-talkie to communicate is huge,” she said.

“It is an extra layer of communication for teachers.”

Hawthorne plans to attend one of the school’s PTO meetings in April. “This is something the parents are waiting for,” Rosean said.

The Partners in Education (PIE) program at the schools works with various local businesses. The businesses donate to the schools and, in return, they are promoted on the school’s website and social media in return for their generosity.

“Brevard Public Schools (BPS) has nearly 750 partners in education (PIE) and is always looking for new and innovative ways to engage more businesses, faith-based organizations, community groups and civic organizations,” according to