This article originally appeared on WND.com

Guest by post by Bob Unruh 

Fight erupts over explicit materials for kids

Lawyers for the American Center for Law and Justice have recommended to a school in New York that officials use the existing Supreme Court precedents in deciding how to handle material that essentially amounts to pornography in a school’s library.

The dispute developed when school board members in the Clyde-Savannah Central District in New York first protected children from obscene pornographic materials.

“In August of this year, one of our clients brought to the school board’s attention that books – five specifically – containing obscene, sexually graphic content were widely available to minor students in the school libraries. These five books contain, among other things, graphic accounts of sexual encounters between minors as well as the rape of a minor child by an adult. To say that the content is revolting is an understatement. It is stomach-churning and abhorrent that any material of this nature would purposefully be made accessible to children – especially by the very people who are tasked with protecting children. When the board’s attention was initially drawn to this matter, it responded correctly by voting to restrict the access of minor children to these books by having them removed from the school libraries,” the ACLJ reported.

But then the board reversed course.

It agreed with a parent contending that the First Amendment gives children the “right” to access “pornographic and sexually graphic content.”

That position, however, isn’t what the Supreme Court has specified.

“Petitioners erroneously assert in claims two and three of their petition that students and teachers have a First Amendment right to access any content they wish via the school library,” the ACLJ reported.

Instead, “the Supreme Court’s ‘First Amendment jurisprudence has acknowledged limitations on the otherwise absolute interest of the speaker in reaching an unlimited audience where the speech is sexually explicit and the audience may include children.’ The Court has also made clear that ‘in addressing the question whether the First Amendment places any limit on the authority of public schools to remove books from a public school library, all Members of the Court, otherwise sharply divided, acknowledged that the school board has the authority to remove books that are vulgar.’”

The court has recognized “the obvious concern on the part of parents, and school authorities acting in loco parentis, to protect children – especially in a captive audience – from exposure to sexually explicit, indecent, or lewd speech,” the ACLJ said.

The ACLJ said it has written to the board, on behalf of parents, explaining how the law gives the board the duty to protect children from exposure to “sexually explicit, vulgar, and lewd content.”

Copyright 2023 WND News Center



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