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Editorial: Concern for safety of county’s children

The safety of the county’s children is on our minds.

Last week was a trying time with almost daily reports of minors being in danger.

First, we learned that a man was accused of soliciting a minor for sex. He’s suspected of sending a young boy sexually explicit messages and pictures through an online app.

Then, three Ridgeland teenage girls were reported missing. Missing persons flyers were shared as law enforcement’s search intensified.

Three girls, each 16 years old, reported missing within days of each other. It was very unsettling.

Thankfully, the weekend eased some of the tension. Two of the girls were found Saturday and the third girl was located Sunday.

We are still learning about the circumstances surrounding each case, but it’s a great relief to know they were found safe.

It’s very unnerving, however, that law enforcement think the two girls found Saturday afternoon might have been victims of a human trafficking ring in Savannah.

Trafficking is a concern in the area, including South Carolina. The state Attorney General’s Office reports that there were 50 human trafficking cases in 2016, with 36 involving victims under 18 years old.

In Georgia, 256 cases were reported last year, with 77 involving a minor, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

The events last week hopefully heightened everybody’s awareness about human trafficking.

We also hope Saturday, July 1, will raise awareness for Asperger’s Syndrome. A Ridgeland parent is hosting an event at the farmers market on Jacob Smart Boulevard in Ridgeland that she hopes will bring people together to talk about autism. Tracy Boone’s son was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was 11 years old.

She understands the challenges involved in raising a child with the condition, which is why her event is aimed at bringing parents together to share their stories.

We applaud Boone’s initiative and hope the event inspires others to support each other.

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