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New Hanover School District Fights to Keep Obscene Materials in Schools

by Melissa Mason

August 6, 2022

Obscene Materials for Children?

NHCS wants to maintain salacious books in school libraries for all children to access.  District Attorney Ben David and Sheriff McMahon refuse to enforce obscenity laws.

Parents’ Complaint About Obscene Books Swept Under the Rug

On July 8, WHQR published a story titled, “NHCSO investigated schools for ‘obscene and pornographic’ books, DA found no unlawful content.

The WHQR article, like the title, gives the impression that the case was open and shut. The article does not question the DA’s conclusion that the nine books, which concerned parents had brought to the Sheriff, are protected by North Carolina Law and the First Amendment.

Why I’m Concerned About Obscene Books in Schools

Sexual material can damage children’s development. Studies show that porn is addictive, and directly harms children’s impulse control and ability to learn. There is a strong link between exposure to porn and sociopathic behavior towards women. As an educator and a mom, I think everyone should take complaints from parents about obscene materials in schools extremely seriously.

I’m sad to say this story has been dismissed rather lightly by authorities and the press. Briefly, here’s why:

  1. WHQR does not explain the context of this story, which is that NHCS makes it very hard for parents to remove obscene materials from schools.
  2. The content of the books was not made part of the public debate, so how can the community decide how we feel about it?
  3. The DA, Ben David, did not use the correct statute to judge the books, and misrepresented the meaning of the statute he did apply. This case was dismissed on spurious legal grounds.
  4. No one involved in this case, whether authorities, the press, or NHCS asked these important questions: Why are these books in the schools? What is their value? What is their intent? And could they harm children?

Why Did Parents Have to Go to Law Enforcement in the First Place?

Under current NHCS policy, offensive materials can only be removed from schools one at a time. Parents filed a complaint with the Sheriff’s office so the books could be removed from all the schools at once. No charges were filed against staff. So when the DA says, “you can’t just go arresting a school teacher or a librarian,” he’s avoiding the issue, making parents the villains, and failing the children who are harmed by these books.

Why does NHCS have a policy that allows offensive material to remain in schools, and why aren’t authorities concerned about removing those materials?

Is This Sexual Material Appropriate For School Children?

Here’s a passage from one of the nine books, “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” available at Ashley High School, or through interlibrary loan, at any school in the district.

He reached his hand down and pulled out my dick. He quickly went to giving me head. I just sat back and enjoyed it as I could tell he was, too. He was also definitely experienced in what he was doing, because he went to work quite confidently. He then came up and asked me if I wanted to try on him. I said sure. I began and he said, “Watch your teeth.” I didn’t want to let him know I was inexperienced. So, I slowed down and took my time and luckily got into a good rhythm. He didn’t know I was a virgin, and I did my best to act dominant like my favorite porn star. I was an actor, and this was my movie. There was so much excitement running through my body. This was much more than losing my virginity. For once, I was consenting to the sexual satisfaction of my body. 

(The rest of this passage can be read at this website.)

There is no value here in this explicit material, only an appeal to an obsessive sexual excitement.

So How Did Our District Attorney Determine that this Material Wasn’t Obscene?

In his letter to Sheriff McMahon, David writes: 

North Carolina General Statute 14-190.13 prohibits dissemination of harmful materials to minors. The statute defines “harmful materials” as:

That quality of any material or performance that depicts sexually explicit activity and that, taken as a whole, has the following characteristics:

a. The average adult person applying contemporary community standards would find that the material or performance has a predominant tendency to appeal to a prurient interest of minors in sex; and

b. The average adult person applying contemporary community standards would find that the depiction of sexually explicit nudity or sexual activity in the material or performance is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community concerning what is suitable for minors; and

c. The material or performance lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

The DA doesn’t evaluate whether the books fit the definition of “harmful materials.” He would have a hard time claiming they don’t. Instead he sidesteps the issue entirely.

New Hanover DA’s Shocking Claim: State Law Allows Schools and Employees to Provide Porn to Kids

The DA argues that while North Carolina General Statute (G.S. 14-190.15) “creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for dissemination of harmful materials to minors,” section (c)(2) “explicitly exempts parents, schools, libraries, and other governmental and medical agencies from the purview.”

David’s office concludes the law “prevents schools and their employees from being charged under this statute, assuming that the materials were disseminated as a legitimate function of employment with the school system.”
So the DA claims a teacher can give obscene materials to a child, as long as it’s part of his job? And State law empowers school employees to harm children? How can that be true?

A Misrepresentation of the Law

As I read section (c)(2), it appears that the DA ignores the first half of the defense, without which the second half is absurd:

“It is an affirmative defense … that the defendant was a school, church, museum, public library, governmental agency, medical clinic, or hospital carrying out its legitimate function…”

Giving obscene materials to minors is not, nor has it ever been, a legitimate function of schools and is contrary to teacher training in child development. Schools’ purpose is to educate, not tantalize.

The Standard for Obscenity is Actually Lower When Kids Are Targeted

North Carolina General Statute N.C.G.S.14-190.1 contains a section specifically designed to protect children that actually lowers the standard for establishing obscenity when it targets them. Subsection (d) reads:

Obscenity shall be judged with reference to ordinary adults except that it shall be judged with reference to children or other especially susceptible audiences if it appears from the character of the material or the circumstances of its dissemination to be especially designed for or directed to such children or audiences.

Also, under N.C.G.S. 14-190.7 and N.C.G.S. 14-190.8, giving obscene literature to minors is a Class 1 felony, so he diminished the severity of the crime.

This is very different from what the DA claimed on Facebook:

What the law says is that the First Amendment carefully carves out if you are an educational facility, including not just a school, but also a library, there’s a very high standard on whether or not those materials can be considered obscene.

Intent Matters in the Definition of “Obscenity”

The intent of these books is clear: they were especially designed for kids, to excite them sexually, and were especially directed to schools. Under the law, the fact that they target children makes them obscene, and everyone responsible for their dissemination to minors is subject to prosecution.

NHCS is Targeting “Especially Susceptible Audiences”: Your Kids

Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust’s administration continues to push the systematic hyper-sexualization of our kids, and a transgender grooming agenda on this community. We the parents categorically reject these policies.

But Dr. Foust and the powers that be continue to ignore, exclude, deceive, and obstruct concerned parents. That is why I have called for firing Dr Foust for cause in my Education Over Indoctrination Pledge. I gave the main causes in a recent blog article. We must elect a school board that will hold him accountable.

Parents Are Watching – and Winning

The July 12 Board of Education meeting shows contemporary community standards pretty clearly. We are watching local officials; we are exposing their abuses. We will hold them to account, and together, we will take our schools back.

I am so thankful to those volunteers who have joined me in tirelessly researching, without whom, this information wouldn’t be possible. It is only through our efforts together that we can remove this type of content from our schools and protect our kids from the damage it does.

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