Setting the record straight on 'sexual content' in South Dakota's schools
Guest column by John Durajczyk
Nearly 60 years ago, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart defined pornography as something that, “I know it when I see it.” Not long ago, Ms. Amy Bruner penned an article to The Dakota Scout, which in itself was quite pornographic.
She wrote in considerable detail that our school libraries were loaded with sexually explicit material describing and instructing readers as young as 12 in the use of “lube,” rape, tips for arranging trysts using online apps, drawings of vaginal sex, masturbation and “how-tos” in the performance of prurient predilections.
She made sure words like nudity, sex, excretion, perverted sexual acts, oral sex and the lewd exhibition of genitalia were sprinkled in her testimony to our South Dakota legislators and The Dakota Scout readership. After reading her missive, I like, Justice Stewart, knew pornography when I saw it.
I can’t begin to guess Ms. Bruner’s motivation for such an article, but she is quite passionate about the inappropriateness of certain material being available to our South Dakota students. She warned me of “highly sexualized and violent material,” which when left to undeveloped young minds leads to “grooming” and lowering a student’s defenses leaving them vulnerable to “predators and pedophiles.” These words were not chosen lightly. They are in the lexicon of extremist, right-wing discourse. They are used to agitate, infuriate and as a call to action. Studies have shown that humans are moved by expressions of stronger emotions than calmer ones. I believe this was Ms. Bruner’s intent.
VIEWPOINT: The question of sexual content available to children in school libraries