Rockville, Maryland, July 21, 2021 – The American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) stands in support of a July 6, 2021, request from the Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy to Secretary Cardona to investigate and identify the scope of any illicit human trafficking activity involving businesses masquerading as massage schools in the U.S. A letter from AACS to the Chairman is available here.
AACS communicated to the Chairman that its members are horrified by details of a new report relating to illicit activities undertaken by the American Academy of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (AAAOM), which is not now and never has been an AACS member. AACS believes any school or individual that is knowingly putting a student in harm’s way through support of or association with sex trafficking should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
AACS emphasized their members’ important role in a solution. AACS member schools are in the best position to train our students to identify and respond to suspicious activity and have been including curriculum enhancements in our training about how to identify a sex trafficking victim. As the general manager of Milady, an AACS partner, and AACS secretary and treasurer, Sandra Bruce states, “AACS has been spearheading educational initiatives around identifying the signs of human trafficking for our students. Just this year, educational partner Milady offered a month of free online training to any student enrolled in a beauty and wellness program at any AACS member school so they could understand and identify the signs of those suffering from these exact types of human atrocities.”
“As the leader in setting standards for beauty education, Milady realizes there is more to a beauty professional than simply the beautification process. Beauty professionals in every community, with the right tools and education, can serve as victims’ first line of support during difficult and dangerous situations,” said Bruce. “As a founding member of AACS, Milady is proud to provide access to meaningful education that makes a difference in the lives of both the future beauty professional and their clients.”
AACS was founded in 1924 and has a rich history of educating and advancing millions of students into the beauty and wellness industry. We are a national nonprofit association open to all privately owned schools of cosmetology arts and sciences. Our membership includes cosmetology, skin, nail, barbering, and massage schools. AACS currently has more than 250 school owners as members comprising over 500 schools across the nation.