Recently, I started a petition to close a legal loophole that’s allowing Texas school kids to be exposed to sexually explicit materials and increasing their risk of being molested.

The petition calls on state lawmakers to repeal and rewrite a section of the Texas Penal Code that deals with obscenity.

Obscenity is not protected free speech, and making obscene or harmful material available to minors is a crime under both federal and state laws.

But Texas Penal Code Section 43.24 (c) sets out “obscenity exemptions” that make it lawful to let minors access otherwise illegal sexual content if it’s for “educational” or “governmental” purposes.

I want to explain why it’s important that we do away with those exemptions.

I’m going to talk to you as a former law enforcement officer who’s had the opportunity to interview victims of child molestation. I’ve also had the opportunity to interview pedophiles and listen to how they got to the point of being able to molest a child.

It’s called grooming.

It starts off very slowly because when you talk to kids about sex, it makes them very uncomfortable.

So, the job of a pedophile is to make kids feel like child sex is normal, to slowly get the child to believe it’s the right thing to do, even though the child is uncomfortable.

Pedophiles slowly get the child to that point. They let the child know they can trust them, that what is said between them stays between them, and that even if the child told, their parents wouldn’t understand and would actually blame them.

Once a molester gets that kind of control over a child, they move on to showing pictures, illustrations, books, magazines—normalizing it even more.

Pictures are shown to the child of self-gratification, male and female, and how “normal” that is. Different words are used to make the child more comfortable with that.

Then it turns to innocent touching—a tap on the shoulder, a bump. Then it turns into touching themselves, then touching each other. And when it gets to that point, that child is going to be molested, probably more than one time.

The books that I am talking about in the petition contain illustrations and explicit descriptions of sex acts. These books are doing the hard work of the pedophile.

I’m not saying that’s the intention of a district or a teacher. But when you read how a pedophile is able to do what they do to a child, you learn that a vast majority of the work is being done by illustrations these children see in the books that are on our library shelves, starting as young as elementary school.

We need to stop this. We need to ensure that Texas Penal Code Sec. 43.24 (c) is repealed so it doesn’t provide cover for attorneys, organizations, or school districts to have this material on the shelves where minors can access it.

What you see happening a lot in our society today is the separation between parent and student, and the new “parent” is the school. The last time I checked, there’s not a section on my children’s birth certificates that says “co-parented by the school.”

I’m lucky enough to live in a great school district. But I assure you, in every district—including the one my children are in—there are people pushing this obscenity, yet they’re not realizing what they’re really doing.

We need more parental guidance in what is being provided to our children regarding sex. We need more interaction between the district, teachers, counselors, and parents.

Lawmakers need to close the loopholes in our obscenity laws to make it harder for sexually explicit books to get on the shelves, harder for distributors to send these books out, and easier to hold people accountable who put this type of material in our schools.

Please sign the petition, please share it, and please support the movement to protect our students from books that sexualize kids and groom them to be molested.

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