A Texas teacher has been fired from the high school where she taught after she was outed on social media for discussing the concept of re-labeling pedophiles as “minor-attracted persons” or “MAPs.”
While Amber Parker was originally placed on leave from her position at Franklin High School in El Paso over the comments, which were captured on video and uploaded to TikTok, the board has since moved to begin the process of firing her.
In the offending 18-second video clip, Parker could be heard telling students to “stop calling [pedophiles] that. You’re not allowed to label people like that.”
“We’re not gonna call them that,” she said. “We’re gonna call them MAPs, minor-attracted persons. So don’t judge people just because they wanna have sex with a 5-year-old.”
According to a Facebook post from Parker’s husband and a student who spoke with WZTV Nashville, the English teacher was merely posing a hypothetical argument as part of a class discussion as the students prepared to read the play “The Crucible.”
Parker herself told NBC News when she was first placed on administrative leave that she was “not legally allowed to comment at this time.”
Last Tuesday, the school board moved unanimously to fire Parker.
“There were more things that the public may not know about that was included on the closed findings,” board trustee Daniel Call told El Paso’s KFOX-TV.
While Call had initially signaled support for Parker as the incident was being investigated, he told the outlet that the investigation changed his mind.
In a Facebook post shortly after the video was first posted online, Call had said he believed Parker was simply playing devil’s advocate and not, in fact, promoting the de-stigmatization of pedophilia to her students.
“Initially I was shocked and horrified when I saw the video,” he told NBC News. “Then when I heard that she was trying to be sarcastic, I felt bad for her. However, when the district’s investigation into this situation helped me understand the full story, I have no doubt that terminating this teacher is the right thing to do. Any reasonable person that heard the results of the investigation would vote to terminate her.”
“Personal opinions on really sensitive matters don’t belong in the classroom. It is not the role of the school district to do that,” Call also told KFOX.
This is exactly why the story is deeply unsettling.
If Parker was, as was originally suspected, representing her own stance instead of hypothetically representing a stance that she was criticizing, it would hardly be shocking, actually.
Attitudes of acceptability and tolerance for so-called “minor-attracted persons” is so mainstream, it was actually addressed during the confirmation hearing for incoming Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Jackson Brown, whose reduced sentences for child sex offenders have long been noted by critics.
It was also the subject of a viral interview with former Old Dominion University professor Allyn Walker, who was ousted from the school as a result, only to be welcomed with open arms at Johns Hopkins University as a fellow in the Moore Center for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse months later.
On the other hand, if Parker was simply presenting the argument for illustrative purposes, as seems more likely to be the case, this honestly hardly assuages my concerns, although I certainly share the views her student says she was presenting about the normalization of pedophilia.
Let’s be real: Why on earth is a teacher discussing such a sensitive subject with high school students, even if only for the sake of argument? I know we’re all infuriated about grooming children, but there is absolutely no reason to have this conversation with children, even high school students. It is still entirely for parents to discuss such an issue with their children according to their own sensibilities and family values.
It says so much about everything wrong with our attitudes toward public school education that Parker was having this conversation with her students in the first place.
The forest in the trees that is often missed in the conversation about sexuality education in public schools is that it is abhorrent on its face for adult teachers to be discussing sex with high school students. Let’s not lose sight of that as the political landscape threatens to suck us into a debate about the appropriate degree of sex education in schools.
Seriously — we simply cannot accept Socratic discussions on sexual perversion in learning institutions attended by children and teenagers. I can’t believe I have to state this as though it needs to be stated, but it does. That’s this twisted world we live in now.
There has never been any decent reason for public employees to lecture anyone else’s child on the most intimate and explicit of subjects, beyond perhaps the most technical basics of the human reproductive system in a high school biology class. It’s time we de-normalize about 99 percent of modern sexuality education.
Oh, parents won’t teach their children at home, you say? Then perhaps we need to go back even further and discuss why we’ve grown so used to public schools handling literally every aspect of child-rearing as families crumble and our youth sink deeper into a mental health epidemic.
If children aren’t learning what they need to learn to be functional, healthy adults, we have a massive parenting crisis, not a shortage of intimate, ideologically infused sexuality education in schools.
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