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U.S. Dept. of Education Concerned About Bullying and Harassment but Not About Rampant Campus Pornography Linked to Both

Contact: Robert Peters, Morality in Media, 212-870-3210

NEW YORK, Oct. 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education sent a "Dear Colleague Letter" to schools, colleges and universities to "support educators in combating bullying in schools by clarifying when student bullying may violate federal education anti-discrimination laws." The NY Times reported that the letter's timing may have been influenced by a Rutgers University student who recently committed suicide after his roommate used a webcam to secretly broadcast over the Internet a sexual encounter involving the deceased student and another man.

MIM president Robert Peters had these comments:

I must confess that I have more than a little difficulty understanding why in this day and age a university student would commit suicide simply because another student secretly filmed and disseminated live over the Internet his intimate sexual encounter with another man.

Isn't consensual sex good, regardless of whether it is straight or gay or somewhere in between? Hasn't it become common place for individuals to videotape their sexual exploits, with or without the consent of the other person or persons involved? Don't people now become celebrities when videos of their private sexual encounters are made public, with or without their consent? Hasn't society progressed to a point where even teenagers feel comfortable sending sexually explicit videos of themselves to other teens who then forward them to others?

Don't colleges and universities also provide students with unrestricted access to the Internet so that they can view all kinds of hardcore pornography, including websites that specialize in "voyeur porn" and "public sex porn" and websites that depict live performances via webcams?

Don't colleges and universities also invite "sex workers" to campus and offer courses in which students view hardcore pornography, visit sexually oriented business and create their own hardcore pornography? Don't colleges and universities allow students to publish pornographic magazines and use school facilities to show hardcore pornography films? Don't colleges and universities look the other way when commercial pornographers come to campus to transform coeds into porn stars?

Isn't it OK for college and university athletes to invite strippers to parties, as long as they don't rape them; and isn't it OK for college and university athletic departments to take prize high school recruits to strip joints, as long as the practice doesn't generate adverse publicity? Aren't colleges and universities more than happy to accept tuition payments from students who are putting themselves though school by working as strippers or selling their bodies online?

In a "cultural environment" where just about everything goes when it comes to sexuality, should it then come as a big shock when on occasion something intended to be private becomes public?

And it's not as if colleges and universities are otherwise safe havens for our nation's future leaders. Just last week an article appeared in the Columbia University Spectator (Vaidehi Joshi, "No means no," 10/20/10) which read in part: "Why are first-year girls warned of the dangers of Frat Row? Why do so many sexual assault and rape cases occur inside frat houses?"

In partial answer to the above question, many young males are addicted to pornography and as Dr. Victor B. Cline observed in his monograph, "Pornography's Effects on Adults and Children," when individuals become addicted to pornography, there is "an increasing tendency to act out sexually the behaviors viewed in the pornography, including compulsive promiscuity...rape..."

In conclusion I would add that were a prominent business corporation to permit its employees to do what college and university students are permitted to do, that businesses would likely face one sexual harassment law suit after another. Colleges and universities should now be facing the same.