A school board in Texas has voted to fire a teacher who told students to refer to pedophiles as “minor-attracted persons” in a viral video that her defenders say was taken out of context.
The El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees has begun the process of terminating Amber Parker, an English teacher at Franklin High School.
The action follows the publication of a short video that shows her telling students to refer to pedophiles as “minor-attracted persons.” In the video, Parker instructs a student that they’re “not allowed to label people” with the word pedophile.
“We’re not going to call them that. We’re going to call them MAPs, minor-attracted persons,” Parker said as students objected in the background. “So don’t judge people just because they want to have sex with a 5-year-old.”
Daniel Call, a member of the El Paso Independent School District’s Board of Trustees, elaborated on the situation in an Aug. 31 Facebook post.
“After hearing from some of the students that were in the class, including my own nephew, I believe now that the teacher that appeared to be promoting and normalizing pedophilia was pretending to advocate a position she didn’t actually believe in order to challenge the students in preparation for them reading the book ‘The Crucible,'” he wrote.
“The video that many of us saw was missing this important context,” he concluded. “I regret the negative attention that this situation has brought on this teacher and wish her well.”
Call previously shared a statement from a school district spokeswoman in an Aug. 29 Facebook post.
“Any allegation of potential misconduct is investigated thoroughly, and the safety of our students is a top priority. As this is a personnel matter, no further information will be shared at this time.”
Jason Parker, who identified himself as “the husband of the teacher in question,” responded to Call’s post in a comment declaring that their family has been “shaken to the core about these accusations.”
“It is both scary and disturbing that an edited 18 second clip could destroy a 30 year career when taken completely out of context. Needless to say we have spent many sleepless nights because of this cruel release to social media of the 18 seconds,” Parker wrote.
“We pray that you and the rest of the board will see this for what it is and not allow [an] edited video [to] destroy an innocent woman, her career and her family in the process,” he added.
The Board of Trustees for the El Paso Independent School District held a special meeting Tuesday.
Among items on the agenda was a recommendation from the superintendent for the “proposed termination of probationary employment contract, suspension without pay, and/or end-of-term termination of the 2022-23 probationary employment contract” for an unnamed teacher at Franklin High School.
Video footage published by local news outlet KFOX14 reveals that the board voted unanimously to “propose the termination of Ms. Amber Monk Parker’s probationary employment.”
As EPISD School Board President Al Velarde said in a local news report, “The investigation has been completed but there is a process defined by [Texas Education Agency] that we must follow when it comes to a termination of an employee.”
Velarde insisted that “the process is just beginning” and predicted that “there’s going to be hearings and appeals and so forth that become available to the teacher.”
While her supporters say her comments were taken out of context, other community members online believe the topic of “minor-attracted persons” should not have been brought up in the first place.
Parker is not the first educator to face professional consequences for using the term “minor-attracted persons.”
Allyn Walker, a former professor at Old Dominion University in Virginia, was placed on leave last year after he appeared on a panel where the non-binary educator stressed the purported importance of ensuring that pedophiles have “dignity.”
Walker authored A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted Persons and Their Pursuit of Dignity. Appearing on a podcast late last year, Walker asserted, “It’s important to use terminology that members of that group want others to use for them.”
“A lot of people, when they hear the term pedophile, they automatically assume that it means a sex offender,” Walker said.
The professor described that allegation as false, stating, “that isn’t true, and it leads to a lot of misconceptions about attitudes towards minors.”
“Using a term that communicates who someone is attracted to doesn’t indicate anything about the morality of the attraction,” Walker suggested. Outrage over the comments led Old Dominion University to put Walker on leave. Walker later resigned from the university.
The controversy surrounding the term “minor-attracted persons” comes as parents across the country have voiced concerns about their children’s public schools embracing of LGBT ideology and other topics many see as inappropriate for young children.
The presence of the books such as Gender Queer and Lawn Boy in public school libraries has caused parents particular concern.
Concerned parent Stacy Langton appeared at a school board meeting in Fairfax County, Virginia, last year to express outrage about the contents of the books, which, as Langton said, “include pedophilia” and “sex between men and boys.” She said, “one book describes a fourth-grade boy performing oral sex on an adult male,” while “the other book has detailed illustrations of a man having sex with a boy.”
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: [email protected]
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