To the Joint Committee on the Judiciary
Testimony on behalf of Bill H1377
Public Hearing, June 30, 2009
Bill H1377 would repeal the exemption for schools from the laws protecting children from "harmful material" including pornography.
One might ask why this is needed. In years past sensible people assumed that schools could show kids legitimate works of classical art that, while technically showing the nude body, are not normally considered pornographic. People assumed that schools were run by mature people with common sense.
But no one dreamed that schools would become purveyors of hardcore pornography and other graphic, disturbing material to children.
In recent years, however, abuses against kids by schools have become epidemic across the state. But schools are protected by law from legal action.
So parents now have to worry constantly about what schools are presenting to their kids.
Here are just a few of the more well-known examples over the years. We have many, many more:
1992: At Chelmsford High School, at a required assembly, a self-described sex therapist used four-letter words describing the "joys" of anal and oral sex. They had children come up to the stage and lick condoms, put condoms on their heads, etc. The incident was widely reported. Parents attempted to sue the school, but they lost in court because of the schools' legal protection.
1993: In Lexington, a parent discovered that her 13-year-old could borrow a book in the middle school library telling how gay men at the opera can socialize with "the backs of their trousers discreetly parted so they could experience a little extra pleasure while viewing the spectacle on stage." (We spoke to her recently, and after all these years she is still very upset about it.)
1997: At Newton North High, a mother discovered that her son had been assigned a book to read that described: sex between a boy and a dog, sex between a boy and a middle-aged man, sex between boys, male masturbation, and female masturbation with an object. The incident was considered so outrageous it was reported in the Boston Herald and local TV stations. But the teacher and the school principal stood by the book and its contents, and said they would continue to assign it to students. The mother went to the local district attorney, but was told there was nothing she could do.
2000: At the infamous "Fistgate" conference, co-sponsored by the Mass. Dept. of Education, kids as young as 12 were taught about how to perform a range of homosexual sex acts, including male-to-male oral sex and inserting one's hand into another person's rectum for sexual pleasure. The Commissioner of Education fired the state employees involved, but no other action could be taken. Instead, one of the employees who was fired filed a lawsuit against the parent who exposed the workshop!
2005: At Brookline High School kids were given a book titled "The Little Black Book: Queer in the 21st Century" which included instructions on performing male-to-male oral sex, urinating on another person for sexual pleasure, oral-anal sex, inserting one's hand into another person's rectum, and other graphic and dangerous acts. The incident was widely reported in the Boston media, and even Gov. Mitt Romney went on television denouncing it. However, parents and others were told by public officials that the school was legally protected from any liability or action.
In addition, we have seen numerous other incidents across the state. It's not uncommon for graphic R-rated and movies to be shown to kids in schools. Sexual and homosexual books, workshops, assemblies, and more are often presented to kids, particularly on school-sponsored "gay awareness" days. (One "transgender" assembly at Newton North High featured a woman describing how she was taking hormones and having her breasts cut off to "become" a man.)
It's ironic that if any parents were to present these things to his children they would be liable for criminal charges. But a school, and any school officials, can do it with no fear of liability of any kind.
Parents do not want to have to worry about pornography and other psychologically harmful and destructive things when their kids are in the schools. They want protection from this by their elected officials.
We know that you have enormous pressure from special interests -- including the teachers unions, homosexual lobby, Planned Parenthood, and others -- not to pass this bill.
But we want you to ignore those pressures and do the right thing.