Expert: Public Schools Becoming Unintentional Grooming Grounds for Kids
According to sexual abuse expert Conrad Woodall, many parents fail to realize that when they send their young children off to public school every morning, they send them into a sexual grooming abyss, with public school curriculums in America growing egregiously descriptive of sexual methods in recent years. Consequently, he says that children have been desensitized, and their vulnerability for sexual abuse has heightened.
Woodall, who is currently director of operations for Kootenai Classical Academy in Idaho, covered the topic with host Joseph Backholm on a recent episode of the Outstanding podcast. He noted that motives for implementing sex education may have been initially pure, as a handful of government officials pushed for schools to foster an environment where children felt confident to explore and better understand their sexual identity.
But as Woodall explained, public schools began implementing more lessons on sexual practices and distributing books on sexual biology at a significantly younger age. Teachers, whom the children loved and trusted, began instigating earlier sexual conversations with their students slowly and purposefully. Many people do not understand the long-term effects of these growing efforts made by teachers, Woodall argued. “My concern is that it completes the actual stages of grooming.”
As Woodall described, grooming is a malicious process used by pedophiles to exploit minors. The abuser builds an emotional, trustworthy relationship with a child, while slowly exposing them to sexual conversations and sexual acts, making one small move at a time, and breaking down their innocence incrementally. This method confuses the child and tutors them on the topic of sex, so that they no longer understand the line between what is appropriate and what is not.
Woodall, who has worked both in law enforcement and with sexual abuse survivors, said that in the last stage of grooming prior to abuse, “[Abusers] have to increase the child’s knowledge and sophistication in order to molest so that the child doesn’t feel like it is abnormal.” This tactic of “increasing the child’s knowledge” is what teachers across the country have been instructed to do in their classrooms by the federal government.
Backholm shared Woodall’s concern, tying the modern idea of “grooming” to what initially led to the fall of man in Genesis 3. He noted that Eve ate the forbidden fruit after being tricked by the serpent’s lure of gaining more knowledge — after all, the tree was called “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Eve’s temptation to have the knowledge that she did not already have is what caused her to sin, he explained, since God created Adam and Eve with a level of innocence that was not to be ruptured, which was meant for all humans. “God gave us innocence to protect us,” Backholm stated. Parents, in his view, must understand that it is necessary for their kids to be ignorant of some things for their own safety.
Woodall explained that a crucial signal for parents to recognize if their child is being groomed is if their child comes home and begins talking about sexual ideas not previously discussed. Formerly, he noted, this behavior would be considered out of the ordinary and would likely be investigated and questioned, hopefully resulting in findings that could assist in stopping the child molestation before it happens. Now, Woodall pointed out, children are talking about sexual ideas more regularly, affecting the parents’ ability to distinguish abnormally young sophistication and their ability to profile potential abusers, which increases the risk for molesters to operate unnoticed.
Child abuse is a growing issue in America. According to the CDC, about one in four girls and one in 13 boys experience sexual abuse before they turn 18. Woodall believes that unintentional grooming in public schools could have detrimental effects on statistics like these. “That’s why this battle over school districts, this battle over curriculum matters; because we are protecting the innocence of children,” Backholm concluded.
Baylie McClafferty is a Washington Stand intern at Family Research Council.