By MICHAEL TAVOLIERO
“In the course of human events there have always been those who deny or reject human freedom, but Americans will never falter in defending the fundamental truths of human liberty proclaimed on July 4, 1776. We will — we must— always hold these truths.” The President’s Advisory 1776 Commission, January 2021
These truths are especially meaningful when it comes to the protection, nurturing, and instruction of our children as we prepare them to take our place in what will hopefully be a better future and a better lifestyle than our own. That said, over the last decade I have become increasingly skeptical of this outcome.
I’m not an attorney, yet I can’t help but ask questions.
Are the Anchorage School District (ASD) board members, its superintendent, the unnamed library association, and those staff accountable for the procurement and placement of the book, “Gender Queer”?
What other books, which by intentional design move to sexually groom and indoctrinate Anchorage’s children for future exploitation, are on the shelves at Anchorage public schools?
Are those people criminally culpable in their breach of custody and subsequent unlawful exploitation of the 43,500 plus students in the Anchorage School District?
What’s really the difference between an adult sexual predator and an adult in the school district knowingly placing visual and aural material within the reach of minors?
Both are intended to groom and indoctrinate children for future sexual exploitation, and once sufficiently groomed, to prey on them. This has happened in the past with ASD and other Anchorage schools.
Is this an attempt to make it legal, or at least culturally acceptable?
Alaska Statutes 11.41.436 and 11.41.455 describe the circumstances that define the felony of unlawful exploitation of a minor:
(a) An offender commits the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree if…
(4) being 16 years of age or older, the offender aids, induces, causes, or encourages a person who is under 16 years of age to engage in conduct described in AS 11.41.455 (a)(2) – (6);
*and* the offender occupies a position of authority in relation to the victim.
Alaska Statute 11.41.455 graphically describes the kinds of sexual activities the minor may be induced into performing by the exploitative adult who is grooming them. As we know, the process of grooming a child for future exploitation begins slowly, the perpetrator often starting by showing the child pornographic materials.
How is this different from the adults within the school district providing our children with easily accessible pornographic materials?
These people are effectively babysitting our children.
How would you feel if you found out that the babysitter you left your children with one the evening had been showing them pornographic and sexually explicit materials while you were out to dinner?
Of course, this begs the question, are there other sexually explicit and pornographic books and materials now being shipped to the Anchorage School District libraries and classrooms?
Who is ordering these?
Why would an adult, someone who is in a position of authority in the eyes of the children, want to subject young people to these materials?
The AS 11.41.370 further provides that a parent, legal guardian, or person having custody or control of a child under 18 years of age commits the crime of unlawful exploitation of a minor if, in the state, the person permits the child to engage in conduct described in this section knowing that the conduct is intended to be used in producing the material that visually or aurally depicts the conduct.
You be the judge.
Suzanne Downing, editor of Must Read Alaska, showed pages from the book in her Nov. 13, 2021 article, “Anchorage Schools Remove ‘Gender Queer’ Graphic Memoir From School Shelves”.
I bought the book from Amazon and reviewed it. While it could be termed as a “coming of age” memoir, I cannot agree that this book should be placed in front of minors as reading material in the schools.
In my opinion, the comic book format is a clandestine way of spreading sexual content to underage children.
Superintendent Deena Bishop responded to the article with what can be best described as an apathetic and dismissive memo posted on the ASD website.
The book was in a “batch” of “award-winning” books, she said.
What is striking is her total lack of curiosity as to what in her procurement system resulted in this purchase.
Why is she not outraged and angry?
Why is she not demanding answers?
Why is she not requiring her staff to thoroughly vet and review all “batches” of books coming into the school system for appropriate subject content?
Per Superintendent Bishop’s Nov. 15, 2021, memo to the public, the ASD Teaching and Learning Department is the department that reviewed and removed of the book. She details casually the circumstances surrounding the book’s journey to the ASD.
From the ASD website, the Teaching and Learning Department is the authority in curriculum. Per website, it is responsible for “the alignment of curriculum across academic services to support equitable, high quality instruction within a multi-tiered system of supports.”
Who are the members of ASD Teaching and Learning Department?
Was this department ultimately responsible for the purchase of this book as part of a library association’s “award winning” package of books?
Were there others involved?
Where are the records identifying the purchase of this book and others with the complete list of books from “a library association’s award winning” package of books”?
Into which school library (or libraries) was this book installed?
Who in the ASD library system distributed this book to its final destination?
Was there a review of this book before it was put into circulation?
What is the name of the library association and what is the length and depth of its relationship to ASD?
And perhaps what is most discouraging and disappointing, where are the responses of the Anchorage clergy and churches?
Dear leaders and acolytes who lead Anchorage’s religious communities, are you aware of what happened?
Are you curious in finding out the truth?
Where is the moral outrage to this crime perpetrated on the entirety of the children attending the ASD schools?
I grew up in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, when Catcher in the Rye, Catch 22, The Painted Bird, and other novels were continually subjected to bans. I do not support censorship. Hey, I went to Woodstock.
And yes, I accuse any adult who intentionally places these materials in the hands of our children, our most precious asset, of committing an egregious and unforgivable crime. These people will get away with this and more if we don’t apply the law and statutes to them now.
When public funds are used for the grooming and indoctrination of children for sexual exploitation, beyond the scope of what true education must be in Alaska, I just can’t buy it.
Michael Tavoliero is a realtor in Eagle River, is active in the Alaska Republican Party and chairs Eaglexit.