Protecting Innocence: How I’ll Fight the Oversexualization of Children

Feb 4, 2024

In the interconnected world, where people can communicate text, video, and images across the globe instantly, protecting our children’s innocence is paramount. What a child sees, hears, or experiences cannot be undone, and those who prey on the innocent can quickly destroy a childhood, causing untold mental, emotional, and physical harm.

Children are impressionable and can be easily intimidated, persuaded, and frightened. When children are force-fed information on sensitive and controversial topics like gender identity and deviant sexual behavior, particularly at an age where they haven’t the intellectual or emotional (or even physical) maturity to process it, it can cause confusion, anxiety, and self-doubt. It robs them of time and space, forcing them into situations and confronting ideas they are manifestly unprepared to handle. It also undermines the trust and cohesion of families, encouraging children to be secretive and distrustful. 

In short, sexualizing young children is destructive of our social fabric and has no redeeming positive impacts for children, families, or society. It is wrong. 

There is a reason that those who promote drag shows and pornographic materials for children are called “groomers.” It is because that is what they are. There is no valid reason for any child to be exposed to sexually explicit materials other than to persuade or coerce them into letting others victimize them. 

We Must Take a Stand

It is imperative to ensure that young minds are shielded from harmful influences that are unhealthy and destructive. In addition, when our public schools and libraries are doing a woefully inadequate job of preparing our young people for the economic, ethical, and practical challenges of living in the modern world, it is unforgivable that any resources at all – whether funds, time, or attention – should be spent on disseminating sexually explicit materials to young people. There is no valid reason that their time should be spent on these subjects. Sadly, given our modern culture, children will be exposed soon enough to unhealthy influences through television or other sources outside of schools and libraries. We do not need to accelerate that effort.

In the 2024 session of the legislature, we have already begun to take steps to protect our children. First on the docket is H384, which will allow parents to protest pornographic or objectionable materials that are available to children in libraries. I have signed on as a co-sponsor to the bill and voted in our State Affairs committee to move it to the House floor for a vote. Currently, the bill is being reworked to reflect a similar bill in the Senate. 

The Role of Parents and Schools in Shaping Minds

The foundation of a child’s development is laid in the home and the schools. While the legislature (rightfully) has minimal power to control what happens in the home, it has an absolute responsibility to safeguard the school environment. The purpose of schools is to impart essential academic skills, providing students with the tools necessary for future success, and educating the citizens in order to preserve the republic. In this context, it is vital to limit discussions on sexual issues within the classroom.  We are actively working to ensure that this happens. Schools should focus on core academic subjects such as mathematics, science, and language arts. This is a large enough task – and one that schools are not always fulfilling. We do not need to dilute these efforts with social engineering efforts.

In that respect, I am proud to partner with Senator Ben Toews (4 District, CDA) in sponsoring a bill that would make knowledge of Western Civilization a requirement for graduation from high school in Idaho, replacing the current World History curriculum. In order to be capable citizens, students must learn about the heritage that led to the creation of our republic to understand its uniqueness and the special nature of America. Students would begin with the Code of Hammurabi and progress through English common law, covering each foundational aspect of Western Civilization. A thorough knowledge of the history and philosophy that led to our foundational documents is critical to understanding the nature of our country. Suggested by Ralph Ginorio, a well respected history teacher in Coeur d’ Alene, Sen. Toews and I are meeting with state education officials to implement this change. 

Idaho’s Obligations to Its Families

These measures would exhibit our state’s commitment to prioritizing Idaho’s children and emphasize the importance of maintaining a productive educational environment. Schools should focus on academics and enable children to build their characters through real achievement, not meaningless identity. 

Idaho can improve transparency in our schools so that parents know what their children are exposed to during the school day and school year. By empowering parents to maintain their role as the primary influences in shaping their children’s values and respecting young students’ privacy and sensitivity, common-sense legislation can protect children from being drawn into uncomfortable and dangerous situations.

Some will want to call me names simply for believing that we should let children be children. I don’t care. I am proud to advocate for the protection of childhood innocence. Idaho’s state legislature can play a crucial role in shielding children from the over-sexualization prevalent in our culture by creating spaces and rules where they need not be confronted by issues they are not prepared to handle at a young age. 

Idaho should prioritize the well-being of its youth and foster a safe and properly focused educational environment. If you agree, vote for Joe Alfieri for District 4A Representative in the Idaho legislature this November.

Skip to content