Red Sand at LHS

By Ali Wilcox

Laramie High School is bringing attention to sex trafficking by lining their sidewalks with red sand.

The Red Sand Project was originally started by artist Molly Gochman in 2014 to bring attention to the problem of sex trafficking.

According to heatwatch.org, there are currently 40.3 million victims of sex trafficking, and the red sand grains represent the individuals who fall through the cracks of our social and political systems.

“The LHS Z Club started [taking part in] the Red Sand Project 3-4 years ago. The Red Sand Project is an international art project designed to bring awareness to human trafficking.  It was started by a woman in Florida, but now participants all over the world order packets of red sand to put in their own sidewalk cracks,” Z Club sponsor Tamara Bretting said.

“I honestly haven’t been the one doing this.  I sponsor the Z Club here, and one of the students found the project. She knew it fit with the Z Club goals, most human trafficking victims are girls or women, and she brought the idea to the club. The girls have done it every year since,” Bretting said. “Our hope is to bring awareness to a global issue. While high school students aren’t in a position to do anything about human trafficking yet, being aware of it can protect them, but can also plant a seed for future action if they feel like it is an issue that they can get behind.”

Students are having a great response to this project, even if they are not in Z Club.

“I was not involved in the project, but I saw it outside in front of the building, which I think was cool, because if I noticed it that means that it is bringing the attention of other people, which is spreading the word,” LHS student Arturo Morales said.

The entire idea behind the project is to bring awareness to the amount of people who have been sex trafficked, and to bring attention to the fact that these people need help.

The Red Sand makes it visible to other people the amount of people that are trafficked and makes students realize how easy it could be for it to happen to anyone.

“I never had a single idea that the number was that high, and for the school to bring attention to this problem is incredible, because this problem keeps getting bigger and bigger, and the more we bring attention to it the more we are able to protect ourselves and look for signs,” Morales said.

Bretting has provided an outlet for students to freely express how they want to change the world, and this is just a start to students expanding their horizons even more.

“You never know what our high school students will achieve in their lives, maybe this project will inspire someone to make a difference,” Bretting said.

This project gives opportunity for the students to involve themselves in modern day problems and make them feel included.