English teacher Amber Parker can be heard in the 15-second video clip saying to a student, “Stop calling them that …We’re not going to call them that. We’re going to call them MAPs - Minor Attracted Persons. So don’t judge people just because they want to have sex with a five-year-old.”
The incident occurred last week, and Parker was swiftly suspended. However, El Paso’s Independent School District board of trustees has since voted unanimously to fire her.
But not everyone agrees with the board’s decision. Some students are defending Parker saying that her words were taken out of context.
Ryann Ruvalcaba, a student at the school, told Fox17, "She [teacher] was expressing how it was ridiculous how we [society] might not be able to call people pedophiles. That we [society] will probably have to start calling them MAPs because it can be offensive to them [pedophiles]. The class agreed."
Another person who initially defended Parker was board trustee Daniel Call, who said in a Facebook post that he didn’t think Parker was promoting or normalizing pedophilia, but instead pretending to advocate a position to challenge her students and prepare them to read the book, The Crucible, according to KFOX14.
However, after the investigation, he has since changed his stance and voted in favor of Parker’s termination, stating, "Any reasonable person that heard what the seven trustees heard would’ve voted to terminate Amber Parker."
Jason Parker, Amber Parker’s husband, replied to Call’s Facebook post thanking him and saying,
“I happen to be the husband of the teacher in question. I can tell you that we were 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.
"She is exemplary as a teacher and truly cares about the students. Needless to say we have spent many sleepless nights because of this cruel release to social media of the 18 seconds. We pray that you and the rest of the board will see this for what it is and not allow and edited video destroy an innocent woman, her career and her family in the process.”
Parker will have the ability to appeal the decision.
"The process is just beginning. There are going to be hearings and so forth that become available to the teacher, and so we just await the process," said Al Velarde, board president.
There is a growing movement to destigmatize pedophilia, with proponents arguing that that the term pedophile is a judgemental and hurtful label. These activists prefer the term Minor Attracted Person. They push for pedophile-acceptance on the grounds that no one chooses to be attracted to minors, so therefore should not be judged for something they cannot control.
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