State officials say it violates obscenity law but they can't prosecute school officials
Contact: Natalie Bell, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 126
WASHINGTON, March 6 /Christian Newswire/ -- Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Illinois, had assigned the pornographic book "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" to students as required reading. When a group of outraged parents found out, they filed a formal complaint. Now the book has been changed to an "optional title," meaning kids may still select the book for peer study under the direction of a teacher.
The book is replete with profanity, overt racism through multiple uses of the N-word, an explicit description of a sex act involving Mother Theresa and some of the most graphic, vile and vivid depictions of homosexual anal sodomy every put in print. (Link to Excerpts – Warning: Extremely Graphic Sexual Content).
"After almost 15 years of school advocacy and reviewing many objectionable books and curricula, I have never seen anything this vulgar and harmful to students," Lora Sue Hauser, Executive Director of North Shore Student Advocacy (NSSA), told Concerned Women for America (CWA).
NSSA complained to the State Attorney's office of Lake County, Illinois, and they agreed that the book violated Illinois' obscenity statute prohibiting adults from "distributing harmful materials to minors." But, amazingly, Hauser was told by the State's Attorney's office that state and federal obscenity laws exempt school officials from prosecution.
"It takes a lot to shock me," said Matt Barber, CWA's Policy Director for Cultural Issues. "My jaw hit the ground when I read what's in this book. This isn't a First Amendment issue; this is about school officials betraying the community trust. Heads need to roll here. Assigning this racist, pornographic smut to high school kids is nothing short of child abuse. Don't forget, this was required reading until parents complained.
"If Deerfield High School Principal Sue Hebson, Superintendent George Fornero or any of the teachers responsible for this outrage had any sense of responsibility, they would now resign on their own rather than making parents and taxpayers force them from their positions. Shame on them, and shame on Illinois School District 113.
"It's disgraceful for these people, who have been entrusted to help mold the minds of Deerfield's impressionable youth, to have abused those youth by ostensibly violating the very laws intended to protect them. To hide behind some inexplicable exemption is just plain cowardly. Deerfield parents should seriously consider every possible legal option to ensure that these people are held accountable," concluded Barber.
Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women’s organization.