Sex

Wisconsin DA Threatens to Prosecute Public School Teachers for Following the Law

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Seems that Wisconsin has a new law called the Healthy Youth Act, which instructs public school teachers to teach age-appropriate sex education, including the use of contraception. (Insert libertarian dogma about how we wouldn't be having these debates if not for the existence of public schools here.)

Whatever you may think of that law, it is the law. But Wisconsin District Attorney Scott Southworth recently sent a letter to public school teachers in his county telling them to break the law . . . or he'll prosecute them.

From Southworth's letter:

To encourage children to have sex in any way, shape or form is egregious. It's one thing to instruct students about human biology, human physiology and reproduction. It's quite another to cross that line and start teaching students on how to engage in sex for pleasure….

It's akin to saying we need to teach kids how to make mixed drinks because some kids are going to illegally drink alcohol….

[The Healthy Youth Act] promotes the sexualization—and sexual assault—of our children.

Actually, it's probably more akin to telling students that if are going to drink, you should have a designated driver. Or to drink where you plan to sleep.

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  1. Can’t this asshole himself be prosecuted for this threat? WTF?!?

    1. You would think so. I mean, if that prosecutor is acting to prevent the lawful execution of the laws of that state, well, aren’t any of the state legislators prosecutors?
      O yeah, I forget in the ol boy network of the “law” that prosecutors are never prosecuted or investigated, no matter how outrageous their conduct. Yeah, how many hundreds through DNA testing have been shown to be innocent. A curious person, wondering about our system that lets 10 guilty go free instead of imprisoning one innocent man, might conclude based on the number of innocent imprisoned, that every free person must have committed 10 crimes.

    2. I’m no lawyer, but according to this, the recently passed law might conflict with existing law, making the D.A. technically correct. It all depends on how the two portions of the law are worded.

      It would not be the first time, or the ten-thousandth time, a legislature passed two mutually incompatible laws.

      Granted, the guy is being kind of a dick about this …

      But Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth has sent a letter to the county’s five school districts warning them that requirement promotes sexual assault.

      He said it’s illegal for minors to have sex and teaching the use of contraceptives encourages sexual behavior …

      He said teachers who know students are having sex and then teach those students the use of contraceptives could be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    3. Short version: no.

      Threats and extortion are OK when they are done by council and limited to matters of legal action that are in progress or might be filed.

      Why should that be? I don know. But I do notice that it’s the lawyers who decided that they can do that stuff…

  2. Pity that A.G. Southward’s parents didn’t have access to birth control information.

    1. Arrgh. “A.G. Southworth

      Preview. Dammit. And proofread.

      1. RC’z law wins again.

  3. “Insert libertarian dogma about how we wouldn’t be having these debates if not for the existence of public schools here.”]

    Okay.

    With school districts across the country dealing with cutbacks, forced four-day school weeks, etc., when has there been a better to time to trumpet the benefits of privatizing the school system?

    We should be pushing privatization as a practical solution to these problems now more than ever.

    From out of control union benefits to rising property taxes, and, yes, greater parental control over issues like sex education, is there anything not to like about privatization?

    …other than cosmos losing the opportunity to shove their worldview down the throats of everybody else’s children?

    1. I’m in favor of privatizing public schools. Or at least letting poor kids escape them. The parenthetical was to acknowledge that position while keeping the focus on the idiocy of this particular prosecutor.

      1. its shorter to just put [Standard Libertarian Disclaimer].

    2. The only drawback I can see from school privatization,would be more government manipulation & control of private schools. If the government is funding private schools through vouchers,the government could attach conditions that private schools would have to adhere to in order to recieve vouchers. Which eventually could turn private schools into just another form of government run schools. Which is pretty much what has happen to public schools. As funding was shifted from the local community funding school districts to the state & federal governments local autonomy was lost.

      1. I suspect private schools that really wanted to stay private could survive a constitutional challenge, especially considering that so many private schools are based within a religious institution.

        In other words, it’s the VMI solution. If you want to stay private, and you can survive by not taking vouchers, then by all means, don’t accept students on vouchers…

        Apart from that, I don’t buy the argument that students, parents and taxpayers should have to continue to suffer just because fixing the problem might make the best schools worse.

        If privatization made the average school 40% better, who’s to say that isn’t worth making the best schools 10% worse? …not that it necessarily would!

        Hell. Some of the private schools I went to could have used a little more competition.

        1. I’m not disagreeing with you. I think a voucher system would be preferrable to the current system. I was just pointing out that vouchers aren’t a pancea.

      2. Agreed that this could be a problem, which is why any education funding has to be attached to STUDENTS, with few to no conditions attached to schools.

        But I’m replying because of your name – do you know ?lvar N??ez? Awesome guy. The world could use more like him.

  4. teaching students on how to engage in sex for pleasure….

    I could never have figured it out on my own.

  5. is there anything not to like about privatization?

    Aside from the fact that countless children could never afford private schools?

    1. You (and very few others on this site) might be amazed at how many people could afford a private school if they weren’t taxed at a $25-30K/student rate for the privilege of state indocrination for their children.

      1. I would be amazed, because it would be very few. Not to mention that the increased demand on private schools would cause tuitions to rise.

        1. At that’s exactly why CD players still cost $800.

          1. And it’s why private colleges only cost a few hundred dollars per semester…oh wait

            1. Right, like the University of Phoenix.

              Troll FAIL

              1. Yeah, put University of Phoenix on your resume if you want to give your interviewer a good laugh.

                1. The interviewer’s not laughing at your degree, Scotch, no matter how much it comforts you to think so.

            2. So you believe that by exponentially increasing the number of customers, private school tuition would ultimately increase?

              1. Or what BP said (much better and without typos).

          2. SCOT FIGHT!

        2. Even if demand rose sharply enough to increase the price of tuition a small amount, many other players, seeing an opportunity for profit, would enter the market to meet this demand and put downward pressure on the price. As long as the government didn’t put up barriers to entry. Competition solves all problems.

        3. Right, because no one would do anything to increase supply if demand for private schools went up.

    2. *If* gov’t has to be involved in education (and I don’t think it should be at all), then let it provide *funds only*, with no strings attached. All children would have money to go to school; all schools would be private.

    3. You’re the worst character troll ever, Towelie Scotch.

      1. And he doesn’t even offer to get anyone high.

    4. Yaaaaaawn.

      Give parents a voucher worth x amount of dollars. I believe last time I checked every student in southern Indiana got in the ballpark of $5,500-$6k. Then the parents automatically have money to pick an appropriate private school. Will wealthy children, on average, go to nicer, better private schools. Yes. How is that different than now?

      Why do you think that one-size-fits-all education is someone better than my plan?

      Analogy time: let’s say your company is taking everyone out for lunch. They select one meal and you must eat this boxed lunch. Turkey sandwich on white. Packet of mayo, maybe some lettuce. They give you a juicebox and some chips. You won’t starve but it’s not really what you wanted to eat.

      Add choices: give everyone $5. THey can go to McD’s, Subway, whatever. Bring their OWN lunch to the outing. Shit, people may pool their money together and order a pizza. More people are happy with their food.

      (Hint: in analogy time, change “food” to “education.”)

      It’s called giving people choices, douchenozzle.

      1. The analogy would be more apt if it were like this: the employees could choose between getting a decent catered lunch brought to them or each of them could get a coupon that would buy them something crappy that they would have to spend time and energy to go and get…

        1. Oh no, time and energy! We can’t have parents expending time and energy on their own fucking kids. When will they watch American Idol?! The horrors will be ongoing. I wish Scotch Hamilton were in charge of my life. I’d never have to think again. He’s awesome. And by awesome, I mean douchey.

          1. Ever heard of opportunity costs?

            Every bit of time and energy you spend on one thing is time and energy you could have spent on something else.

            1. You’re right, children should not be their parents priority. What was I thinking? I’m glad you’re here. We’re taking the bullet, so to speak, so you’re not off spreading your idiotic ideas to people who are more easily convinced.

            2. I love it when people throw out words they read in an econ book when it’s completely obvious they are totally ignorant of all economic concepts. The opportunity cost is only an issue if the people could be doing something better with their time. Or don’t you think parents should spend any time on their children’s upbringing? If they didn’t care they could just go to the nearest open enrollment school and sign them up. It’s not like we’re talking about a second full time job. But keep trying, really.

        2. Your analogy would only be compelling until the first day that the catered lunch choices were those shitty big long ham or turkey subs.

          I loathe ham and I loathe processed turkey.

          The voucher system would look pretty good then.

          But this is your typical arrogance – you’re completely unconscious of the fact that it’s impossible for you to account for the personal preferences of everyone.

          People who love “public” facilities are caught up in the concept of “participation” as being superior to choice. As long as “communities” can get together and everyone can “participate” in the decision-making process about what the schools should be like, everyone is “empowered” and should be happy with the outcome.

          And that’s all crap. Participation sucks, and is no substitute for choice. If the “community” gets together and decides that everyone should eat dog shit sandwiches for lunch on Tuesday, the fact that you let me “participate” in the decision-making process isn’t going to make the dog shit taste any better.

          1. So basically if we have a lunch meeting to accomplish a certain goal we should spend most of our energy making sure everybody’s petty tastes are accounted for instead of just ordering a bunch of turkey sandwiches and getting on with things?

            1. Jesus Christ.

              No one has to make sure that “everybody’s petty tastes are accounted for.” Only you have to account for yourself.

              How do you manage to survive? Have you every been grocery shopping? How did you handle the vast difficulties of selecting a meal?

              DO YOU FUCKING FEED YOURSELF?! ARE YOU CAPABLE?!

              Seriously, nozzle of douche=you. You take all the douchiest things and condense them until it sprays wildly about like a drunk man really rockin’ a piss.

              1. Wow. One of the great rants in the history of blogs. Right here in the H&R comments section. I’m speechless.

              2. If I was drinking coffee, it’d be all over my keyboard right now. :]

            2. Almost there. Take the leap, Scotch. You’re one more brain cell away from realizing it would just be better if everyone bought their own damn lunch because then everyone would be satisfied or have only themselves to blame for choosing tuna salad.

              1. How about this: you guys take the leap into accepting that everything is not always going to be just the way you want it. Hit and Run is like a Kindergarten.

                1. Here’s the thing: we accept that everything won’t work out just the way we want it to. We are not arrogant enough to believe that we can structure society. Society is made up of individuals and their own preferences and interests. I can’t efficiently or effectively dictate the lives of millions of people.

                  It is our belief that trying to manipulate society is so dangerous and malignant that we are willing to step away from culture/institution building.

                  It seems you are the one trying to have everything work just so.

                  Think of the Joker’s wise words: “I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control reality really are.”

            3. This analogy is rapidly filling with straw.

              1. It is filling with straw but it illustrates nicely the libertarian mindset…you guys fancy yourselves to be both hearty rugged individualists yet piss and moan if you get the wrong type of lunch meat on your sandwich.

                1. What? No, I think we go find our own sandwich if we don’t like what is given to us. And we don’t expect to be given a sandwich in the first place. If someone is kind enough to give me a sandwich, I have the choice of making the most of it, or going and finding my own. There is no outrage that I got the wrong kind of lunchmeat.

                  1. “This place serves really shitty sandwiches!”

                    “Yeah, but you have to eat here and you’ve already paid for them anyway.”

                    “But I want a better sandwich.”

                    “RACIST!”

                2. The pissing and moaning comes from someone taking out lunch money and doing us the “favor” of buying everyone the same lunch. It’s the removal of choice in the first place that’s the problem.

                  The population is too diverse for any one size fits all solution to work. Because of this it’s entirely unjust to tax everyone in order to pay for something that they do not want.

                  1. crap “out” should be “our”

                    Should make more sense now.

              2. You’ll eat the straw sandwich and like it good sir.

                1. DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

                  Mock? Yes. But please, no feeding.

  6. Or to drink where you plan to sleep expect to pass out.

    Just to play devil’s advocate:

    Suppose a bunch of my daughter’s teeny-bopper friends were having a sleepover at my house (OK, first suppose I have a daughter).

    And suppose I took the opportunity to instruct them on how and when to use a condom. Perhaps with the classic “banana” exercise.

    If you’re a parent, do you suppose you’d have a problem with that? What’s the difference between one adult (me) and another (a teacher) doing exactly the same thing?

    1. For a start, kids in a schoolroom are not there for a ‘sleepover’.

      Hmm.

      Maybe you do have a point.

      “OK, class, how do you defend yourself if somebody comes at you with a banana?”

      1. “Pointed stick? Oh, oh, oh. We want to learn how to defend ourselves against pointed sticks, do we? Getting all high and mighty, eh? Fresh fruit not good enough for you eh? Well I’ll tell you something my lad. When you’re walking home tonight and some homicidal maniac comes after you with a bunch of loganberries, don’t come crying to me! Now, the passion fruit. When your assailant lunges at you with a passion fruit…”

        1. *wide eyed*

          You shot him!

    2. I don’t know. Two questions:

      1. Are you sure it’s a banana?

      2. Is Warty present?

        1. Warty has been and always will be. Warty is.

          1. Elvis Warty is everywhere.

    3. I think the difference is where you would put the bananna when you’re done with it.

    4. I would, and for the same reason I have a problem with schools teaching it: It is my job to determine the time, method, and extent to which my children get the “official” lessons on sex.

      They will get tons of information from TV, friends, etc., but when other adults start lending their unsolicited authority to information that may contradict mine, the water gets very muddy.

      1. I concur.

      2. Which is why if I ever have kids (and it seems less likely by the day), they wont be attending public school. And probably not private school. And not having sleepovers at RC Dean’s house.

    5. I think if sleepover parents are required, under penalty of law, to whip out their bananas, and then the local prosecutor charges them with a crime, — why, yes, there’s a problem.

    6. I would be pretty annoyed by it.

      But then again, I would also be pretty annoyed if you gave them a long lecture about how great a President Woodrow Wilson was.

      The question is whether you would have committed a crime. And as long as we’re still talking about a banana, I don’t see that you have committed a crime.

    7. “”What’s the difference between one adult (me) and another (a teacher) doing exactly the same thing?””

      10 years, and a listing in a database. 😉

    8. Personally I would not care. But I can see that others might. But in any case, I don’t see it as any worse than Fluffy’s example of a lecture on Wilson and how great he was. Sex is not bad. No one is harmed by seeing how to put a condom on a banana.

      1. What about the banana, Zeb? You didn’t consider its feelings, did you?

  7. Poll: Which higher office will Scott Southworth be seeking in 12-24 months?

  8. …although, drink mixing and bar tending classes would come in handy.

    1. I wish some teacher had taken me aside and told me that Men drink beer, whiskey or gin. Nothing else (vodka is for commies).

      That would have helped me avoid several unfortunate encounters with peppermint schnapps.

  9. I hope the prosecutor does bring charges on all of them. Should be an easy case for the defense and maybe this prosecutor will be fired or disbarred or whatever is bad for prosecutors.

  10. How is it even legal for an AG to threaten to prosecute people who FOLLOW the law? That would be akin to arresting me on obscenity charges back in the day for teaching Catcher in the Rye — it was mandated in the curriculum, I’d’ve been fired if I skipped it, but I’d still be arrested for exposing innocent 17-year-olds to the word “fuck?”

    1. Guess I better repeat my comment from upthread, Jennifer:

      I’m no lawyer, but according to this, the recently passed law might conflict with existing law, making the D.A. technically correct. It all depends on how the two portions of the law are worded.

      It would not be the first time, or the ten-thousandth time, a legislature passed two mutually incompatible laws.

      Granted, the guy is being kind of a dick about this …

      But Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth has sent a letter to the county’s five school districts warning them that requirement promotes sexual assault.

      He said it’s illegal for minors to have sex and teaching the use of contraceptives encourages sexual behavior …

      He said teachers who know students are having sex and then teach those students the use of contraceptives could be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

      1. I can’t see how sex education in any way contributes to the delinquency of a minor. But I have not read the law.

        1. We’re not talking about common sense definitions of “delinquency of a minor”, we’re talking about the specific language the Wisconsin legislature used to define that.

          One should not, as a default, assume common sense was used in drafting a law.

          Short of looking at the actual language of the law, there’s no way to tell if this D.A. is correct or not in his assertion that the two sections of the law contain unintended consequences when they interact.

          1. Im no lawyer, but if the sex ed law was passed 2nd, wouldnt that overrule any conflicting clauses of the deliquency of minors law?

            1. No, not unless it said something like “notwithstanding any other laws”.

              1. That is, the law doesn’t take into account WHEN a law was passed — if it is on the books for a day, it has the same legal standing as a law on the books for a century.

                If the laws are mutually exclusive, then it winds up in the courts to figure out how to apply the new law, unless the legislature corrects their error first.

  11. To encourage children to have sex in any way, shape or form is egregious.

    Uh huh.

  12. So he really believes that students won’t figure it out for themselves and must be taught that sex is pleasureable?

    1. Nope, that knowledge is automatically, magically obtained at 18, or whatever the law says in your state.

      /Sarcasm

  13. put University of Phoenix on your resume if you want to give your interviewer a good laugh.

    It can’t be much worse than Harvard Law.

    1. I suspect that the Holy Market will decide otherwise…

    2. It can’t be much worse than Harvard Law.

      Hey! Watch it, bub.

      1. We don’t think much less of you for going there, RC. Not everybody gets into Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and the rest of you aspiring lawyers have to go somewhere.

      2. We don’t think much less of you for going there, RC.

        Gee, thanks.

  14. Southworth keeps referring to the students being taught how to “engage in sex for pleasure”.

    To be fair, I haven’t RTFL; but I suspect the “for pleasure” stuff is all in his mind.

    1. Why else would young, unmarried people have sex? To get preggers? He’s assuming the obvious.

      Not that that makes what he’s doing right.

    2. Well, if you are using a condom, you are almost certainly engaging in sex for pleasure (or busines, I suppose). But how is having sex delinquent behavior?

      1. But how is having sex delinquent behavior?

        Well, for school-age persons, its a felony. Statutory rape, you know.

  15. Ah, have not libertarians advocated civil disobedience for unjust laws in the past?

    Given that the answer is yes, is the outrage present merely because this certain subset of libertarians like sex education in schools?

    After all, perhaps the DA is experiencing a crisis of conscience and has decided that morality trumps the law…as libertarians state it so often does.

    1. Shut the fuck up, Dan T.

      1. Why the fuck is Dan posting under both of his aliases in the same thread? Are they going to interact with one another too? Schizo loon.

        1. card

      2. Uh, Warty, the correct admonition is:

        SHUT UP DANNY DEVITO

        (comes from this)

        1. The best MADTV impersonation is by far Kenny Rogers.

          1. he played himself on Reno 911

  16. Aresen said.

    “Pity that A.G. Southworth’s parents didn’t have access to birth control information.”

    He’s only a DA.

    JB Van Hollen is the AG in Wisconsin

  17. Is this the same Scott Southworth as from the free-speech decision about how student fees may be spent?

    1. Looks likes it:
      http://www.first-draft.com/201…..again.html

  18. To Wisconsin Teachers:

    Just quit. They don’t pay you enough to play these games.

    1. If they’re paid like other teachers in the US, I’m pretty sure they do.

  19. (Insert libertarian dogma about how we wouldn’t be having these debates if not for the existence of public schools here.)

    Zactly! Word! Halle-fucking-lujah!Public school – nightmare!

  20. I didn’t think Scotch Hamilton could come up with even more idiotic analogies than his previous ones. I was wrong.

  21. FEAR THE NOOKIE!!

    I am reminded of the woman who bashfully confided to her gynecologist that her husband had recently become quite fond of, shall we say, backdoor sex. The doc asked, “Well, how do you feel about it? Does it hurt?”

    The patient replied, “Yes, a little.”

    The doc asked, “Well, do you like it?”

    The patient said, “Actually, I do.”

    The doctor said, “In that case, I don’t see a problem. Just be sure and use birth control if you don’t want to become pregnant.”

    The patient said, “I didn’t know that a woman could become pregnant that way!”

    The doctor replied, “And where did you think that prosecutors come from?”

  22. I think the DA should be sued for threatening and intimidating the teachers. It is wholely preposterous to suggest that any such charge against a teacher would be anything but a frivolous and unwarranted prosecution and abuse of office. Here’s my religious expression; God save us from pandering morons in elected office!

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