In 2011 our first bill was passed, making it illegal for parents and guardians to show porn to their children in Texas.
All 181 Texas legislators voted for House Bill 1344, Gov. Rick Perry signed it and the bill became law Sept. 1, 2011.
HB 1344 was introduced by then State Senator and Lillian Smith Board member Bob Deuell MD (R-Greenville) and by State Representative Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale), who became a Lillian Smith Board Member in 2015.
Back in 2011 it was already illegal for an adult to show porn to a child, but a loophole was allowed because in 1974, when Texas’ current criminal code was passed, parents wanted the freedom to use porn to teach children about sex.
House Bill 1344 closed that loophole.
The problem was brought to our attention by Dallas mother Crystal Buckner, without whose efforts we would never have been able to get the law passed. After her ex-husband, Jack Buckner Jr, forced two of their three young daughters to view porn, she fought hard to get him arrested for his actions and called dozens of organizations for help. Unfortunately the Amarillo District Attorney’s Office was initially unable to have him arrested and prosecuted because – prior to the law being enacted – what he did as not illegal.
To explain the need for the law, we arranged interviews for Crystal with The Dallas Morning News, CBS-11 TV News and the Associated Press. The story then went national and was published and broadcast in and on hundreds of newspapers, news websites, radio and TV stations across the U.S.
Jack Buckner Jr. was later found guilty of Child Endangerment and jailed briefly for his actions.