Saturday, March 03, 2007

As Howell Schools Turn

The Feds are now investigating.

From the Argus
Allegations that Howell Public Schools teachers are violating pornography laws by assigning certain books to high school students have been referred to the FBI.
The office of U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy III has sent the matter to the FBI, spokeswoman Gina Bilaya said, after receiving a letter from Vicki Fyke of the Livingston Organization for Values in Education, or LOVE.

Bilaya said it was a routine move; "We do it with all complaints," she said.

But she also said Fyke was right in assuming that federal prosecutor was taking the issue seriously.
"Absolutely," Bilaya said. "We're going to look into it."

She estimated it would take a couple of weeks or a month to finish the investigation.

An advocacy group is firing some warning shots Here

I haven't checked the Federal Statutes yet. Federal law is different than state law. There's a few things I'd have to look at to see if there's (in my own opinion) a federal case under that statute. A big hoopla is being mentioned about the FBI getting involved. That's a bunch of bluster for nothing. All that is being done is an investigation to see if there is a federal case or not. We want our prosecutors and US Attorneys to make informed decisions on matters, don't we? If there's no case under the law, then I have no objections to a dismissal.

Personally, I am concerned from a 10th amendment (the one everyone disregards due to abuse of the Commerce Clause) standpoint as this should be a state level issue. That's a whole other discussion however. Whether one thinks the law itself is badly written or whether the penalties are appropiate are another discussion as well.

As far as the state issue - there's also a misconception in the papers and elsewhere about state statute 722.675. The statute itself does not mention Obscene matter or Pornography. It mentions explicit material. That's a big difference and needs to be mentioned.

In the end on this legal matter, it doesn't matter what I think, what the public thinks, what the papers think, what the Love Group thinks, or what the School Board thinks. The big key is what the prosecutor thinks, and what the judges and jury - if any - think. This is now a question of law, not a question of policy.

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