Emory has thrown himself into some pretty deep shit.
Ravenna Public Schools Superintendent John VanLoon said that Emory “informed the teacher that he wanted to video himself singing to the class as a portion of his portfolio to help him gain admission to a Big Ten School of Education." The teacher thought it was a great idea. So Emory came to class with his acoustic and sang a song called "Lunch Lady Land" and got lots of video of the kids smiling and swaying to the music.
Then, Emory got home and did some creative editing. The video, which was on YouTube but has since been taken down, starts with Emory writing on a chalkboard, “Disclaimer: No children were exposed to the “Graphic Content” of this video.” It then uses overdubs and editing to make it look like Emory was singing a different song to the kids and the kids (all recognizable) were grooving to it. Sample lyrics -- "I like the way you make your body move. C’mon, girl...See how long it takes to make your panties mine...I’ll add some foreplay in just to make it fun. I want to stick my index finger in your anus."
Well, that jerked the stopper. Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague had Emory arrested on child sexual abuse. I know what you're thinking -- he didn't abuse any children, they weren't even in the room when the dirty song was being sung. Well, Michigan state law "also has a provision for those who make it appear that the children were actually abused," according to Tague. Does anyone else feel a distinct chill going down their spines while reading that? Tague clearly doesn't. "He walked into a classroom and took advantage and victimized every single child in that classroom. If you insinuate that you want to have sex with young children in Muskegon County and put that in the Internet, you’ve got a problem with the law. As prosecutor of Muskegon County, I feel I have a strong obligation to vigorously defend all the children in our county. To insinuate on a tape that you want to perform perverted acts on children is clearly within the scope of the law with which Mr. Emory is charged." Long story short -- if found guilty, Emory will have to register as a sex offender and could be facing 20 years in the clink.
Now, yes, I think Tague is blowing this way out of proportion. At the same time, though, Emory does deserve some of the blame. After all, he did trick the school into letting him shoot the video in the first place. Emory told WOOD-TV 8 that he lied because, if the school knew what he was really up to, "they never would have let me do it." This is why I usually heed that little voice in my head that tells me something might not be a good idea. You only have to be wrong once to completely ruin your life.
So now there is a Free Evan Emory page on FAILbook with 1,200 subscribers so far and people picketing the courthouse saying this is law gone wild. There are two extremes here. Somewhere in the middle is the appropriate response.
Although no one seems interested in finding their way there....