NBC’s Rock Center last night featured a lengthy segment on sexual abuse of high school foreign exchange students. The reporting faults lack of oversight by the State Department and suggests this allows predators to become host families for foreign children.
Arkansas’s Sen. Sue Madison was featured in the reporting.
Arkansas State Senator Sue Madison (D-7th District) said she learned of multiple instances of poor treatment or abuse of students. Among them, a case of evangelical Christian host parents who verbally harassed a student, forced her to attend church services and told her she would go to hell because she wasn’t saved. In another case, a couple hosted a student to use the student as free childcare, and in another, a student was forced to work long hours on a chicken farm.
“I think the State Department is not doing nearly enough to oversee these programs,” said Madison, who pushed a bill through the state legislature to give the state the power to oversee exchange organizations that place the students with host families.