Friday, February 15, 2013

U Chicago sex week to include ‘Sex Ed for Kids,’ Star Wars porn, and ‘Anal 101’

The prestigious University of Chicago is in the midst of hosting a comprehensive sex week that includes controversial events such as a course on sex education for kids, a play entitled “Genitalia the Musical,” and “Anal 101.”

“We'll have a rope-demonstration where you'll find that kink is really focused on consent and communication,” the university advertises.

According to the event’s official webpage, “Sex Ed for Kids” will be run by the Secular Alliance from 5-6pm Sunday and will offer college students advice on how to “teach kids” about sex and “learn yourself.”

“How do we talk about sex and its related concepts of choice, gender, and desire to our kindergarteners?” asks the event’s description posted on

The sex week, which began on Monday, is funded by the Dean’s Fund for Student Life and the Student Government Finance Committee (SGFC), according to the school’s official student publication, The Chicago Maroon.

Minutes of the SGFC Dec. 4, 2012, meeting – which have since been deleted by SGCF website but were saved by Campus Reform –   indicate that the body allocated $5,048 in student fees for the “educational” event.

Administrators of the Dean’s Fund for Student Life, which is funded with alumni donations, declined to provide the size of its contribution or comment despite an inquiry from Campus Reform.

The event’s webpage encourages students to attend in order to answer burning questions such as “what are the finer points of penetration, oral, or anal sex?” and “how do I tie my partner up safely?”

The event also features a play, “Genitalia the Musical: Star crossed genitals wreak havoc in Pittsburgh.”

A Feb. 13 session, titled “Great Oral Sex: with Tea Time & Sex Chats,” promises a “discussion on going down on men and women”  — including “techniques” — all over tea.

A Feb. 15 session, entitled “Anal 101,” is advertised as a course on the “logistics and pleasures of anal sex.” It will include lessons on “prep, protection, barebacking, etc.”

The how-to sessions continue all the way to the last day with a rope-tying demonstration put on by the Risk-Aware Consensual Kink, which advises those interested in bondage to “bring your own rope, if you can!”

The university is also flying in Axel Braun, the director of more than 400 pornographic films, in from Los Angeles for a Sunday Q-and-A. The school will show one of his films, “Star Wars XXX: A Porn Parody.”

Other miscellaneous events include a cold reading of porn scripts by college improv groups and a live demonstration and tutorial on how to take naked pictures. It wraps-up on Sunday evening with fried food and a game of Twister on what the college website calls “the hugest Twister Board ever.”

The event’s website brags their sex week will go “far beyond typical sex education.”


You want a druggie driving your kid's school bus?  You've got it in NY

The state's highest court on Tuesday unanimously upheld an order requiring the reinstatement of a Shenendehowa bus driver who was fired after she failed a random drug test for marijuana.

The Court of Appeals ruling supported the conclusion of an arbitrator who determined the firing of Cynthia DiDomenicantonio on Nov. 10, 2009, was too severe a punishment for the district employee of 10 years.

The school district, represented by attorney Beth Bourassa, had argued that it had adopted a zero-tolerance policy for positive drug tests. The bus driver's attorney, Daren Rylewicz, countered that such a policy did not exist.

The arbitrator — who became involved after the bus drivers union, the Civil Service Employees Association, challenged the firing — found the dismissal violated the collective bargaining agreement.

The arbitrator ordered DiDomenicantonio reinstated — minus six months of back pay, follow-up drug testing and substance-abuse counseling.

A state Supreme Court justice reversed the arbitrator's ruling. That decision was, in turn, reversed by the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, setting the stage for Tuesday's final decision by the Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals said there are three narrow grounds in which an arbitrator's conclusion can be vacated: if it violates public policy, is irrational, or clearly exceeds a specifically enumerated limitation on an arbitrator's power.

"None of these grounds has been established here," the high court ruled.

"The arbitrator's decision did not exceed a specific limitation on his power; nor was it irrational. Rather, he determined that, contrary to the school district's argument, the parties' agreement did not require the penalty of termination in these circumstances and that the district did not in fact have a zero tolerance policy. The consequent determination that reinstatement with conditions was the appropriate penalty did not violate public policy."

The decision was handed down by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and Associate Judges Victoria Graffeo, Robert Smith, Susan Read and Eugene Pigott.

The ruling was 5-0 because the court was missing two judges following the retirement of Senior Associate Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick and the death of Associate Judge Theodore Jones. Ciparick's successor, Associate Judge Jenny Rivera, was confirmed by the state Senate on Monday but had no input on the ruling.


Schools trample on First Amendment

Schools like Tarrant County College have banned “empty holster” protests in favor of gun rights, which administrators perceive as somehow threatening. Never mind that such symbolic expression is protected by Supreme Court rulings like Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), as the civil-liberties group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes.

Speech cannot be banned simply by labeling it as violence: for example, in Bauer v. Sampson, another federal appeals court ruled that a campus newspaper’s depiction of a college official’s imaginary death was protected by the First Amendment, even though the college declared it a violation of its policy against “workplace violence.”

Yet, a San Francisco high school senior was suspended after she wrote a poem about the Sandy Hook massacre. “I know why he pulled the trigger,” wrote Courtni Webb, 17, in a notebook.  (In arguing that the poem was somehow “threatening,” the school district ignored an earlier California Supreme Court ruling that rejected the prosecution of a minor over a dark poem that had violent imagery. See In re George T. (2004)). Earlier, the Chandler Unified School District suspended a 13-year old boy just for doodling a gun.

In the aftermath of the past school shootings like Columbine, hysteria among school officials resulted in blatant violations of the First Amendment, and “draconian punishments of students under ‘zero tolerance” policies,” as I noted in The New York Times:

    "An 11-year-old boy was taken out of his Oldsmar, Fla., elementary school in handcuffs on May 9 for making drawings of weapons. A 14-year-old girl in Harrisburg, Pa., was strip-searched and suspended for two weeks for saying, during a classroom discussion of the Columbine High School massacre, that she could understand how ostracized students might turn homicidal. It is hard to know what is worse about these cases, the school officials’ inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality, or prosecutors’ contempt for the First Amendment."

In the progressive bastion of Montgomery County, Maryland, “a 6-year-old Montgomery County student who was suspended last month for pointing his finger and saying ‘pow.’” As the boy’s attorney, Robin Ficker noted, “That just shows a certain hysteria with the school administration,” Ficker said Tuesday. “What is the point? To say that you don’t like guns, you don’t like the Second Amendment?”

In nearby Alexandria, Virginia, an elementary school student was arrested for bringing a toy gun to school, even though he “did not point it at anyone.” “School officials said they learned about the incident Monday evening and immediately started investigating. Alexandria police spoke to school administrators Tuesday morning before the boy got to school. When the boy arrived, authorities found the toy in his backpack. He was taken into custody, transported to a juvenile detention center for booking and then released to his parents. . . Superintendent Morton Sherman said further action is being considered, including expulsion.” This seems like an excessive penalty for violating school rules. Not every violation of school rules should lead to an arrest, or even an expulsion.

In addition to trying to restrict speech like empty holster protests and gun drawings, government officials are also equating constitutionally protected speech with violence, through broad, vague bans on “bullying.” Bullying has been defined by some government officials to include anti-abortion advocacy and commentary in a school newspaper opposing gay marriage. New Mexico legislators want to go beyond schools and workplaces to restrict speech in society generally as “bullying,” allowing criminal prosecutions of people who create a “hostile environment” for politicians and others. Law professor Eugene Volokh criticizes that bill as unconstitutional at this link.  (I discuss some of the ways that the “hostile environment” concept has been used by government officials to suppress speech here at this link).

The current panic over bullying is leading to attacks on free speech, political debate, and free association in the schools; political pandering; dishonest stretching of existing federal laws by federal officials; and violations of basic principles of federalism.

Schools and anti-bullying activists have adopted incredibly over-broad definitions of bullying. The anti-bullying website, and schools like Fox Hill and Alvarado Elementary, define even “eye rolling” and other expressions of displeasure or hostility as bullying, even though doing so raises First Amendment problems.

The Obama administration claims bullying is an “epidemic” and a “pandemic.” But in reality, bullying and violence have steadily gone down in the nation’s schools, as even studies funded by the Justice Department have shown. The administration’s anti-bullying website defines exercises of free speech and association such as “spreading rumors” or “excluding someone from a group” as being “bullying,” and it says that “examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.”

The U.S. Senate passed restrictions on speech aimed at cyberbullying and “harassment” that UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh concluded violate the First Amendment, including an expansion of “stalking” provisions that were used unsuccessfully to prosecute a Twitter user who repeatedly criticized a religious leader. These provisions are contained in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which just passed the Senate. (I discuss other problems with that bill at this link.)

The Obama administration has sought to define “bullying” and “cyberbullying” to include constitutionally protected speech, defining it broadly enough to include harsh criticism of politicians, as I explained here. It also has sought to redefine various sorts of real or perceived “bullying” (and even protected speech) as a civil rights violation prohibited by the civil-rights statutes administered by the Department of Education, where I used to work.


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