November 20, 2017

Oregon leads the way in the protection of minors from sexual abuse: Teachers who think a student may be having sex must report it to the police.

WaPo reports.
According to Oregon law, anyone under 18 years old cannot legally give consent, meaning all sexual activity between minors is considered sexual abuse. This policy, [Salem-Keizer school] district officials say, stems from Oregon’s mandatory reporting and child abuse laws....

The subject came up at a training session for teachers and staff in the school district because “we felt like we hadn’t made it clear enough,” as Superintendent Christy Perry told the Statesman Journal....

Some pointed out that this leaves high school students without anyone to speak with about sex.

“You can’t have a conversation about safe sex without talking about sex,” Deborah Carnaghi, a program coordinator for Child Protective Services in Oregon’s Department of Human Services, told the Statesman Journal. Others pointed out that sexual activity among high school students is common....
Then abuse is common (abuse as defined in the state's criminal law). And why are you instructing students on how to be safe during abuse? Time to get back to abstinence only as the safe-sex training?

Here's a  quote from an 11th-grade girl: “I lose the ability to have a private conversation with a trusted adult who works for the district, about something personal to me. Talking about sexual activity between teachers and students should be confidential.” Ambiguity alert.

The people of Oregon need to think and talk about what kinds of laws they want. They need to notice the hypocrisy and the contradictions. Should teenagers under 18 be having sexual intercourse or not? If the answer is no, no means no, right?


Michael K said...

Oregon is almost as crazy as California and it is all run from the nuthouse in Portland.

rhhardin said...

Myth does not work as law. Interpersonal should stay interpersonal.

Mike Sylwester said...

Oregon has relatively few African-Americans.

Eventually disproportionate numbers of African-Americans will be prosecuted under this law, and subsequently racism accusations will compel a change in the law.

One problem that universities have been having with the kangaroo-court proceedings required by the Obama Administration is that the accused males are disproportionately African-Americans.

If Becky Voss had not cancelled the kangaroo-court requirements, then the racism accusations eventually would have become a big problem.

Eleanor said...

So now on top of being the child abuse police, the bullying in school, out of school, and in cyberspace police, the drugs and alcohol use police, and the fashion police, teachers are supposed to police sex between teenagers? Have they defined was constitutes sex? Bill Clinton's definition? The Oxford Dictionary? When are teachers supposed to teach? FTR, I have no problem with school personnel being strongly encouraged to report when a child is in danger as long as the support is there for them when they do.

alan markus said...

..sexual activity between teachers and students

I think there are laws against that.

Unknown said...

This is one overzealous school district, interpreting the law in a way it wasn’t intended. It’s not the state of Oregon.

sykes.1 said...

Is it safe for teenagers to talk privately with their teachers? Some years ago, a DOE research project estimated for for every instance of a homosexual Catholic priest molesting an altar boy there were some 200 instances of public school teachers molesting their students.

Darrell said...

If they had to report Marxist activity, the teachers would have to report themselves.

Owen said...

This is why we invented the subjunctive!

"Suppose I had a friend who was banging this chick?..."

Come on, people! Not that hard!

robother said...

So, the condom dispenser in the boy's locker room is actually a police sting operation? And every abortion provided to any girl 18.5 or younger is destroying evidence of a crime.

Fernandinande said...

Some pointed out that this leaves high school students without anyone to speak with about sex.

Pro Tip: Never speak with non-familial authority figures, except about trivia.

John henry said...

I thought that was standard. My wife is a teacher and under pr law (dept education regs?) she can be fired and prosecuted if she even suspects any kind of abuse and fails to report it

John Henry

Michael K said...

One problem that universities have been having with the kangaroo-court proceedings required by the Obama Administration is that the accused males are disproportionately African-Americans.

This is the secret that dare not speak its name. The whole "rape crisis" is racist,

Ignorance is Bliss said...

And why are you instructing students on how to be safe during abuse?

Don't forget the agency. Why are you instructing students on how to be safe while they are committing abuse? Because if both are under 18, then both are committing abuse. We're all for gender equality, right?

Back when I was a teen, if it weren't for self-abuse, I wouldn't be getting abused at all.

rhhardin said...

Child abuse wasn't a public problem until the 60s. Child sexual abuse until the 70s. Both would be personal moral failings, prosecuted when a crime.

Yet my childhood wasn't filled with sinister predators and abusers; nor hysteria about them.

The latter benefit is considerable. It's making public debate crazy-people stuff.

Quaestor said...

Oregon is one of the states Hillary won last year, hook or by crook. By hook most likely since the state is dominated politically by a few large cities, Portland chief among them, leaving the reasonable small town people utterly voiceless. Oregon is deep Blue and consequently totally FUBARed.

Owen said...

Ignorance is Bliss: "Back when I was a teen, if it weren't for self-abuse, I wouldn't be getting abused at all."


Sorry, folks. This category is closed. IIB has retired the trophy.

LYNNDH said...

Just how many of your commenters, me included would have criminal records for having sex before we or our partners were 18? Most I would bet. Does this law include "Sexting", sending nude pics? That seems to be big in teen lives now. Going to be an lot of kids with sex criminal records.

Owen said...

LYNNDH: Amen. We are not wired to remember everything we do or suffer; far less what some external record may report that we did or suffered. These poor kids, growing up in a world where every gesture is loaded with unintended significance for the rest of their lives, everywhere, with everyone? It is madness and quite unlivable.

We are seeing the consequences here, around sexuality, because it is there that we assign the most (sexiest) significance. But this merciless interrogation --of who we really are and what we really mean and what we are worth-- will continue down to the last byte, the ultimate pixel.

wwww said...

The legal inability to consent to sex is meant that a minor cannot consent with an adult. The way most Age of Consent laws work is there is a range of years in which the state does not prosecute.

So a 15 year old can kiss another 15, 16 or 17 year old and it's not criminal. Or a 17 year old can have sex with a 18 year old, and it's not criminal. The range is usually 3-5 years.

Let's not confuse this with say, a 30 or 40 year old man carrying a 14 year old boy into his bedroom for sexual intent, or undressing a 14 year old girl. That's a clear Age of Consent violation.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Yet my childhood wasn't filled with sinister predators and abusers; nor hysteria about them.

Meaning, they paid you the market rate and you were satisfied?

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oso Negro said...

Children are sexual beings, without regard to contemporary mores or fashion. Requiring teachers to report any possibility that human beings under the age of 18 are involved in sexual relations is shocking and totalitarian.

Jason said...

They have to report it?

So they can pass the hot leads on to Governor Neil "Kiddie Fucker" Goldschmidt?


hombre said...

"Some pointed out that this leaves high school students without anyone to speak with about sex."

Progs in Oregon are upset because the nanny state has not completely displaced parents. Parents, in the view of school officials are not "anyone." They are simply obstacles to the indoctrination of children by "educators" - except in Portland and Eugene, where they are complicit.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This is probably the most irrational law and incoherent grouping of thoughts I've ever heard of. The sheer fantasy of ignoring millions of years of biology and thousands of years of culture is astounding.

We must teach our children how to have safe sex and yet tell them NOT to have sex. Wut?
We must tell anyone under the age of 18 that it is illegal to have sex.
We must talk about sex and gender and becoming a tranny from first grade onward.
We must report to the government anyone who is actually having sex.
Let's ignore the overwhelming messaging of sexuality in the media and in music
Let's ignore that most of the adults who are acting in this irrational manner, would have been criminals when they were young.
Let's ignore that the children's parents were having sex before 18. Admit it baby boomers!!!

It is just crazy.

jimbino said...

People as young as 17 can apparently marry in Oregon if no parent is present in the state and one of the parties has been living there for 6 months or more. That means that a 17-yr old woman in Oregon could legally have sex with a much older man. Furthermore, denying the right to sex outside of marriage discriminates in favor of the religion of marriage.

Bay Area Guy said...

Have any of you actually been to Portland recently?

I was there for 3 days a few months ago. Yuck.

I hope I'm wrong, but Portland is all screwed up. It's like the worst part of San Francisco (the Tenderloin), without any of the nice neighborhoods or stunning geography.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Erm. My husband teaches in the Salem-Keizer School District. It's not Portland; it's about an hour's drive away, and a lot more conservative.

That said, kids in the district are very upset about this. Particularly kids whose parents happen to teach at their own schools, because there the parent (who is generally a mom) is forced by law to turn in her own kid for what I imagine is by now near-universal canoodling.

I am not sure why S-K is interpreting this law so more strictly than everywhere else.

Bay Area Guy: You need to pick and choose bits of Portland. Me, I'd divide my time between Powell's and David Kerr's, with lunch somewhere.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...


Explain "the religion of marriage," please. As I understand it, you don't need to be religious to be married, and in fact marriage and religion have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Including that old obsolete "a man and a woman" thing, so strongly held by our President and Sec. of State less than a decade back ... I am still waiting for the resurgence of polygamy, or possibly polyamory. It's back in Toronto; why not here?

Caligula said...

"Anyone not yet 17 years of age cannot be legally married in the State of Oregon. A seventeen-year-old can be married if they have the parent's or guardian's consent."

So, you can be married at age 17 in Oregon (with parental/guardian consent), but, if you are you'd better wait until you're both 18 before consummating that marriage.

Then again, if marriage can be divorced from reproduction then why can't it also be divorced from sex? And why do I suspect that if a 17-year-old boy is caught having sex with a 17-year-old girl, she'll be cast as the victim and and only he need be concerned about legal repercussions?

The Godfather said...

The WaPo says "Some teachers said they would simply ignore the mandate" to report sexual activity. Suppose a 15 year-old girl has sex with her 16 year-old boy friend and gets pregnant. The parents discover that, six months before, the girl told her teacher that she and the boy friend were having sex, and the teacher urged her to use birth control, but didn't report the conversation to anyone. Even aside from the Oregon law, don't you think that, at the very least, the teacher's job would be in jeapordy?

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

People lose 50-IQ pts whenever they cross the Columbia River into Oregon. It's legal in Washington to pump your own gas, but as soon as you enter Oregon, you're no longer bright enough to do that, and a "trained professional" must do it for you.

Ken B said...

John Henry
Abuse has to be reported. This is all sexual contact. 16 year olds necking, call the cops.

America has gone batshit crazy on this kind of stuff.young people are being put on sex offender lists for sending phone messages or groping on a date.

Hari said...

Are abortion providers required to report abuse every time a minor seeks an abortion?
Are doctors required to report abuse when a minor reports being sexually active and/or asks for birth control?
Are sales clerks required to ID minors when they buy condoms and refuse to sell to those under 18, because it would facilitate abuse?

Ken B said...

No. The pregnancy could have been the result of in vitro fertilization.
Condoms yes, the pill no. Males use condoms.
No. Checking ID is vote suppression.

Hope this helps.

ccscientist said...

For as long as I can remember, Progressives have made fun of abstinence by teens, have demanded the kids be given birth control and even abortions without parents' involvement, promoted sexualized clothing for girls, etc. Now suddenly it is bad again. Excuse me but I can't keep up.

OregonGuy said...

I did get the "ambiguity" part. My sons, living in a small Oregon city, knew what oral sex was during middle school. Not "knew." But, knew of.

I had frequent conversations with both sons. One of their friends was caught? Discovered? In a local sex scandal. Sixth or seventh grade. His father was a civic leader and the press went wild. Sure, no reporting of the child's name. But in a town of less than ten thousand people, you knew. (Not in the "know" sense.)

Any child of any age is now exposed to more sexuality than I could have conceived of during my puberty. (Not in the "conceive" sense.) I had National Geographic and not much else, until Sixth Grade, when my buddy Ed's brother gave us some stolen Playboys. We got caught--about eight of us--going into the woods at the end of the playground to plastic wrapped editions that we would expostulate over. As youth, we had firmly held beliefs about such things.

My mother had a regular schedule on sex. Each week, we would be faced with the discussion about what sex was meant to be, according to the Bible, and where ignoring the Bible could lead. My model for my sons was based on that model. Perhaps not weekly. But often. And admonishment about "spent" seed. Control it, control your future.

Oregon is not what it used to be. Those without values run Portland and Eugene.

And, there you have it.

Anonymous said...

Incoherency is a given. The entire concept of sex-education in school is teaching kids how to do something we don't want them to do until they're out of school. Usually things we don't want kids to do are explained as simple negatives - don't cross the road when there's a car coming. We don't tell them how to play Frogger to dodge traffic on a 6-lane highway and then afterwards tell them not to do that.

Most regulations and best practices nowadays do call for reporting this stuff to the authorities. That's good advice when it's an adult having sex with a minor, but minor on minor is something that needs a different kind of intervention (particularly since the kids have the real excuse that they were just trying out what they were taught in school). Kids also tend to boast and lie about these kinds of things, teachers who reported every suspicion would generate a lot of false positives.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Hey kids like to mess with/hack the system. And kids can be jerks. Kids might anonymously rat out other kids. It could really become a problem.

How about corporal punishment? That would answer many purposes. Not least a debate Fox to chase. If I had a grand lying around (do AMZN purchases count?), I'd ask Emerita to dig up any global flogging stories, or maybe about borderline discipline/abuse cases here, to bruit about for our amusement.

Bad Lieutenant said...

The "permanent record card" was always a joke, right? None of that ever matters after high school (or does it?)

But now, such things will be graven in qubit storage. It would be nice to have evolutionary fitness served by having been raised right by your mother.

Anonymous said...

"That means that a 17-yr old woman in Oregon could legally have sex with a much older man. Furthermore, denying the right to sex outside of marriage discriminates in favor of the religion of marriage."

Until Obergefell, marriage was about starting a family. That is, after all, the purpose of sex. It is why men and women are granted marital rights and benefits that support breadwinners and caregivers. It is why men are granted the presumption of paternity (the right to be presumed the father of his wife's child without having to go to court for a paternity action). It is why blood tests used to be required and why couples that are potentials for inbreeding are barred.

There is nothing 'religious' about it as far as licensing goes. If you want to start a family, you get a license so that you can do so with the recognition of the state and enjoy the benefits granted by the state, just like if you want to drive a car you get a license so that you are recognized as a driver & can enjoy the benefits of being licensed (like driving on public roads). (And, no, getting a license does not mean you are required to start a family, just like getting a driver's license or hunting license or fishing license means you are obliged to drive or bag game or fish.)

Religion comes into play because religions govern morals regarding sexuality, family-making, roles, responsibilities, and the all-important question of what individuals within a family unit owe each other and the social unit itself. Secular humanism functions as a religion in this regard - defining roles and obligations according to progressive beliefs, but according to a set of beliefs nonetheless.

Sigivald said...

Last time I looked at Oregon law, people under 18 could legally have sex ... with other people under 18, at least between 16 and 18; the more or less usual "it's okay with given age ranges, because we're being vaguely realistic about it" law.

I'm not sure I trust the Post to have gotten even a basic "take a glance at the state statutes" check correct, given that quote.

Or their source was very bad at explaining or had been misled, which I also easily believe.

(Jason, above, might want to note that the article he refers to is from 2004, and even then Neil Goldschmidt was a former governor.)

(Oh, and f*ck the Post and their paywall. Their reporting isn't worth a dollar a month; arguably it's not worth "free" - and they've managed to get me to stop reading Volokh.)

Kirk Parker said...


That's not quite right. Rather that excepting that situation from the law defining age of consent, OR law presents it as affirmative defense:

I presume any zealous prosecutor could go ahead and file charges and require the defendant to prove the ages in court.