REP. SALMON: Very disappointed GOP leadership says House is not interested in criminal penalties for those putting pornographic materials in schools

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Representative Sandy Salmon discussed her disappointment in Iowa House GOP leadership’s public statement that the House is not interested in criminal penalties for adults putting pornographic materials in Iowa schools:

I am very disappointed to learn that Republican leadership has made remarks to the public that the House is not interested in considering criminal penalties for those who would insert pornographic materials into our children’s educational resources.

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That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am letting the public know that I and others in the House are very interested in considering that.

We need to make it a crime and provide a pathway for parents to bring a lawsuit if a school provides or requires pornographic materials to be used.

It should not matter your occupation: Everyone should be required to protect children against pornography.

It should not matter your location: Everyone everywhere should be required to protect children against pornography.

Transparency requirements such as we are considering in proposals now are not enough protection against pornography inflicting harm on our children. They are woefully inadequate. They only fritter around the edges.

We need much greater consequences than that. We need criminal and civil penalties for those who would provide or require pornographic materials be used in our schools. We need a way for parents to bring a lawsuit so that their children are protected.

Do you know that right now the way the law reads schools and libraries are exempt from having to obey the obscenity laws??

That’s right! You and I are required to not give porn to a child but schools and libraries are not! They can disseminate porn all day long to a child and nothing in our law allows them to be prosecuted!

This should not be allowed. Our children should be able to enjoy the equal protection of the law from everyone!

Have we forgotten how dangerous pornography is for children? Are we so desensitized by our oversexualized environment that we fail to recognize this?

If anyone thinks the school materials that are the subject of this debate are harmless, they are only fooling themselves. I can show you these materials.

Some have said these materials being questioned have literary and artistic value and some of them have won awards. To people who say this, I would say if I bake a cake and tell you I put 2 Tbsp. of raw hog manure in it but the rest of it is fine, would you eat the cake? I have seen this material and I know most Iowans would say it is not suitable for minors.

For those concerned about minority groups having stories they can identify with: they should find ones for those kids that are suitable and appropriate. They should be protected from pornography as much as anybody else.

Pornography damages children and actually changes the physical functioning of the brain and causes an addiction. More intense viewing is needed to get the desired effect.

As a mother who has raised 3 sons, I have firsthand knowledge of the dangers of pornography.

It’s no different than drugs or alcohol. And we wouldn’t think of allowing those be legalized for minors to use. But we’re allowing something just as damaging and just as lethal – which pornography is – to be offered and used by minors – in certain locations and from certain people.

And just like drugs and alcohol, porn leads to mental health issues and to various types of crimes. There is a ton of research out there all documenting and proving this.

It’s government’s primary responsibility to protect its people, especially the most vulnerable, impressionable, and innocent. That would be our children – our main job is to protect them!

If we don’t implement stronger consequences than simply providing transparency we are failing to protect our kids!

Pornography is an equal opportunity destroyer! And it calls for an equally strong response from government!

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