My Son Found Porn On The School Playground

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"What day is it today?" "October." "Nudie Magazine Day!" (In case you missed it, that's a quote from Billy Madison.)

All joking aside, I just received a disturbing call from my second-grade son's assistant principal. What is the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the words, "Hello, this is Mrs. So and So, your son's principal?" You think, "Oh, no. What did he do?" The second thought is, "Oh, no. Is he okay?"

school playground
Image: mcflygoes88mph via Flickr

But instead, the conversation went something like this:

Principal: Your son and a few other students found a magazine with inappropriate pictures on the playground today.

Me: Hmmm.

Principal: The students did the right thing and turned the magazine in as soon as they found it. They assured us that they did not open the magazine.

Me: What did the cover look like?

Principal: It was inappropriate. There were body parts.

Me: Hmmm.

Principal: Our counselor spoke with the students and they are very concerned about getting in trouble at home. We reassured them that they did the right thing and they won't get into trouble.

Me: Body parts?

Principal: Yes. Body part s.

And on and on. That conversation felt like it took an hour, though it was only a few minutes. A steady stream of questions poured through my mind. What kind of person would leave something like that on a playground for elementary students to find? Was it left accidentally or intentionally? What exactly was it? Was it "run of the mill," or something worse? What am I going to say to my 7-year-old son when I pick him up from school? What kinds of questions is he going to have for me? Is he going to tell his little brothers about it?

Fast Forward A Day:

When I talked to my son about the "incident" and asked him about what he saw, he told me there was "throw-up or blood" in the pictures. What? What kind of magazine was this? Naturally, I called the principal and asked to see the magazine so that I would know what I was up against.

After seeing the picture of the cover (yes, with lots of boy and girl body parts), it became clear that my son probably didn't see it, as he was not one of the ones who actually picked it up, and there was no blood or throw-up. I think he surmised from the commotion that it must have been something really bad. To an innocent 7-year-old, the worst he could come up with was blood or throw-up.

So the good news is that we can delay the "birds and the bees" talk, and the "some people look at pictures like that, but we don't" talk. However, I'm still pretty ticked that someone would intentionally leave something so vulgar for young children to find.

To the person who left that magazine:

I hate you. You are sick. I hope your right hand falls off. That is all.

Sincerely,
One Ticked-Off Mom

Have your kids ever seen something like this? What did you say to them? Also, in light of this incident, we are going to install a parental control blocking software on our computer and iPads. Does anyone use SafeEyes or something similar?

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