Over the past two years, parents across the nation have begun to recognize the extent to which radical ideology permeates K-12 education in government schools. The prevalence of Critical Race Theory (CRT), radical gender theory, and woke teachers motivated more by the prospect of indoctrinating kids than by the duty to educate them can no longer be credibly disputed.
Parents now have witnessed this radicalism, not just through reports from their children but through the countless videos posted by these teachers themselves–on Twitter, Tik Tok, and other social media platforms–in which they brag about their indoctrination efforts. And in states all across America–most notably in Virginia–parents have led the charge to hold their school boards accountable and reassert control over what their kids are being taught.
These efforts have been inspiring. However, the threats children face in the classroom go beyond race essentialism and radical gender theory. Students are also exposed to an epidemic of violent and pornographic material in school libraries, placed there deliberately by ideological school administrators and staff eager to inform the sexual views of the next generation.
These materials, funded with tax dollars, are a direct assault on the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of children. Parents have a fundamental right to know what their children are being exposed to while they are on school grounds and in the classroom.
Pornography in Our Schools
The prevalence of pornographic and violent material in K-12 school curricula and libraries is deeply alarming.
Below are some recent examples of pornographic and violent materials provided to children in their curricula and available in school libraries. This list is by no means exhaustive. Furthermore, perhaps contrary to conventional wisdom, some of the worst anecdotes have emerged from regions that are conservative-leaning in their local or state politics.
- In Canyon, Texas, ninth-grade students were provided a freshman reading list in the fall of 2020 that included The Glass Castle by author Jeanette Walls. This novel includes extremely graphic depictions of sexual assault, incest, and molestation–all aimed at an audience of 14 and 15-year-olds.
- The Leander Independent School District, just north of Austin, Texas, provided a list of new readings for its English Language Arts curriculum from which students could select books for their assignments. Among the titles in the selected readings list were Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez, which includes violent descriptions of teenage gang-rape, incest, and patricide; My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf, which describes Jeffrey Dahmer’s descent into serial killing, cannibalism, and necrophilia; and In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, which depicts a physically and emotionally abusive homosexual relationship between two women with extremely explicit sex scenes. This same school district also offered the book Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov to its eighth-grade students. This novel focuses on an adult man’s obsession with a minor girl and includes depictions of acts of pedophilia. Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet, the “Lolita Express,” famously referenced the title. Exposure of the Leander curriculum garnered national attention as outraged Texas parents demanded successfully that the pornographic material be removed from the curriculum.
- In February 2022, Fairfax County school officials at Langley High School in Virginia put up a display in their library with a sign reading, “Stuff Some Adults Don’t Want You to Read.” School officials later apologized for the sign–after an objection was raised. The titles on display at Langley High School included Brave Face by Shaun David Hutchinson, which portrays his account of coming out as a homosexual, suicidal ideation, and various sexual experiences depicted in graphic detail; Gender Queer by Maia Kodabe, which perpetuates radical gender theory and provides illustrations of oral sex, masturbation, and explicit sexual fantasies; and Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson, which deals with the author’s sexual assault as a 13-year old girl and includes domestic violence, recreational drug use, and explicit descriptions of violent sexual assaults.
- In West Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania, a father recently discovered his 11-year-old daughter had been assigned the book George by her teacher. The book is about a fourth-grade boy who takes puberty blockers and wants to “transition” into a girl. The book, one of the many radical gender theory books aimed at children written by Alex Gino, features pornography, explicit descriptions of sexual organs, and masturbation.
- In Hudson, Ohio, outraged parents discovered a writing assignment for high-school seniors to “write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom” and “rewrite the sex scene from above into one you would let your mom read.” At a school board meeting thereafter, the mayor called on all five sitting school board members to resign or face criminal child pornography charges.
- A similar assignment for eighth-graders in Enfield, Connecticut called “Pizza and Consent” asked 13- and 14-year-old students to use pizza as a metaphor to describe their likes and dislikes when it comes to engaging in sex.
- In Oakland, California, a Spanish teacher at the Oakland Unified School District recently announced that the district would implement a “transition closet” to “provide clothes for transgender, non-binary, and gender exploring youth, who maybe don’t have the access or the safety to get those clothes in their personal lives.” One teacher explained, “The goal of the transition closet is for our students to wear the clothes that their parents approve of, come to school and then swap out into the clothes that fit who they truly are.” While the “transition closet” instance may not seem to be related to the rampant pornographic material percolating in K-12 schools, it is intrinsically tied to the broader problem. Indeed, it highlights the sexually-focused priorities of school district officials who believe it is their responsibility to teach minors radical gender theory, undermine parents, and apparently, take the clothes off children as soon as they arrive on campus.
These examples are but a sampling of the pervasive pornographic and sexually-explicit material and activities being pushed on kids by radicalized Leftists running school boards, administering school systems, and teaching in the classroom. This is predatory behavior by adults against children. It must be exposed and stopped.
The False Cry of Censorship
Elected officials in Texas have launched an effort to determine the extent to which schools are exposing students to sexually explicit and pornographic material. State Representative Matt Krause (R) sent a letter to the Texas Education Association with a list of some 850 books identified as containing radical and pornographic material. Krause, who chairs the General Investigating Committee in the Texas House, requested schools inform the Legislature about how many of these works are in their school libraries or curricula. Governor Greg Abbott (R) has since instructed the Texas Education Association to conduct a full assessment of school libraries to determine the extent of available pornographic content to minors.
Some of these authors have decried parental oversight as “censorship” or “book banning” and adopted a victim posture as their writings have been exposed and removed from some school districts. Ashley Hope Perez, the author of Out of Darkness and a former English teacher, has mocked concerned parents objecting to her graphic descriptions of gang rape and tried to portray herself as the real victim in interviews with publications like Slate and in her own social media feed. Incredibly, Perez even suggested that criticisms of her novel as grooming material for minors could just as easily be leveled at the Bible. As she put it to Slate, “Do you think that the Bible is grooming young people to be sexually abused or gang-raped or to engage in incest, because all of those situations occur in that text?”
Carmen Maria Machado, the author of In the Dream House, took to the New York Times to lecture parents and concerned citizens seeking to remove her violent and sexually explicit book as being “homophobic” and seeking “to wish away queer experiences.” She sees herself as the victim as opposed to the children and minors she believes should read a book that she infused with BDSM and explicit acts of sexual violence.
These radical, woke authors and school officials do not merely feel comfortable or compelled to expose children to such material. They possess a predatory sense of entitlement to be allowed to continue to do so even after they have been exposed by the very working mothers and fathers whose children are being victimized by them. Parents have every right–indeed, every responsibility–to determine and dictate what their children are exposed to when they are under the supervision of another adult ostensibly attempting to teach and educate. The rights of radical teachers or authors do not and will not ever supersede the rights of parents.
Furthermore, taxpayers and concerned citizens who fund these school systems have every right to place limits on what is taught and how it is taught. In America, states ultimately control education policy. And state legislators not only possess the constitutional authority to ban race-essentialism and CRT in the school systems, but they also possess the power–and responsibility–to pass legislation that prohibits pornographic, sexually explicit, and violent material from being accessible in the classroom or school library.
It is important to note that the works being targeted for removal in schools are not being banned or censored from the public more generally. They can all still be published and purchased online, in bookstores, and in most public libraries. They should not, however, be readily available to minors and children, or directly marketed to them.
It is past time for legislators to do precisely that and to implement measures that will protect children from the pornographic exposure many officials, teachers, and authors apparently seek to impose. The false cries of “censorship” or First Amendment protections in this context do not remotely pass muster. They are little more than an attempt to villainize parents and deflect from the reality of this predation.
Protecting Our Children
Just as lawmakers across the country have responded to the parental awakening with bans on Critical Race Theory, so too should they take measures to identify, expose, and eliminate pornographic and violent material from school curricula and libraries.
Specifically, states should:
- Follow Texas’ lead and launch a full-scale investigation into the nature and extent of pornographic material available to students in K-12 schools. The findings of this investigation should be placed in a report and made available to the public with specific examples of inappropriate material in specific school systems.
- Pass legislation that prohibits the availability or distribution of any pornographic, sexually-centered, or sexually-explicit material to kids in K-12 schools as part of curricula, work assignments, on-campus extracurricular activities, or in school libraries.
- Pass legislation that imposes a felony charge on any school official, teacher, contractor, or school board member who knowingly violates the prohibition on the availability or distribution of pornographic, sexually-centered, or sexually-explicit material to minors in K-12 schools. This charge should come with a 5-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, a $200,000 fine, registered sex offender status, and the permanent revocation of a teaching license with no possible reinstatement.
- Pass legislation that requires every K-12 school district and county school system in the state to post and/or make publicly available the required and selected reading list of all books included in the curriculum at least 7 calendar days prior to the start of the school year. Failure to do so should result in a fine and possible loss of state funding.
- Pass legislation that expedites state public information requests for school districts, school boards, and school officials. Additionally, ensure that such legislation requires the corresponding school board to comply, respond, and make publicly available the contents of the public information request within 45 days of receiving it.
- Pass legislation at the state level creating a trigger for school board snap elections. If a school board, school district, or school administrator is found to be in violation of the prohibition on pornographic materials in K-12 institutions, state law will require a “snap election” within 90 days of the violation for all elected school board members.
Healthy communities require morally-grounded determinations–by parents–of the material that is and is not appropriate for children. Contrary to the views espoused by many “woke” educators, authors, and school officials, children belong to their parents and are not the property of the community or the government. Such thinking is pure Marxism and must be treated as such.
Educators are entrusted with the responsibility to teach and equip children with the knowledge necessary to become responsible, civic-minded, and productive members of their communities. Indoctrinating children with sexually explicit material and activities must be met with harsh punishment to deter such predatory behavior from corrupting, abusing, and harming the next generation of Americans.
Parents are the frontline defenders of their children. They are also the vanguard necessary to correct what our K-12 school systems have been doing–and continue to do–to our children. The fight against Critical Race Theory remains vital. However, that fight is just the beginning as the rot runs deeper than many would care to admit. State lawmakers and local officials must step up and join with parents to take the actions necessary to curb this latest predatory behavior in our school systems.
The right course of action is to remove clearly age-inappropriate material from being easily accessed by minors. Opponents will proclaim that this constitutes “censorship” or “a violation of First Amendment” rights. Neither of those claims has any legal or logical validity. What is really being sought by those advancing such an argument is to secure the legal protection for their efforts to expose children to pornographic materials, with or without the knowledge of parents.
Ultimately, freedom depends on a morally-grounded and healthy society and that is unattainable if adults entrusted to educate our children seek to corrupt kids with violent and explicit material that will harm them mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
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