School district's porn filled database is finally gone after parents revolt
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School district’s porn filled database is finally gone after parents revolt

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A school district with a thorny history of sexual assaults is finally agreeing to stop exposing its students to sexually graphic information on a student database. The Cherry Creek School District in Colorado has finally stopped using an EBSCO database that is laden with hard core pornography, the Thomas More Society reports. The stoppage was a result of two years of parental pressure in the embattled district.

Thomas More reports:

Parents are claiming a major victory after one of the largest school districts in Colorado acknowledged on September 7, 2018 that it has discontinued purchasing or using any products for students from EBSCO, a company that embeds pornography in its databases marketed for unsuspecting school children across the nation.

For the last two years, a group of parents and citizens – with recent assistance from the Thomas More Society – have waged an unrelenting struggle against the Denver-area Cherry Creek School District. Parents have requested either that the district require EBSCO to clean up its database for school children or cancel its EBSCO contract altogether.

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EBSCO’s databases are known worldwide for their access to myriad research materials. And while a doctoral dissertation student may find it easy to stick to the research topic at hand and benefit from the many legitimate sources the database provides, a fourth grader shouldn’t have to risk encountering pornography while doing a report on Holland.

According to its website, EBSCO is a “family-owned” business that seemingly didn’t consider family when curating its “Elementary School” research texts.

EBSCO provides database access to a reported 55,000+ elementary, middle, and high schools in the U.S. Thomas More says it portrays “its databases for school children specifically as being age-appropriate and reliable. But unknown to most parents, the databases are anything but safe or kid-friendly.” Thomas More explains:

Starting in September 2016, parents in Aurora discovered that these databases marketed for school children contain substantial amounts of easily accessible, hardcore pornography. And they discovered that the EBSCO database system renders inoperable school internet filters and private, parent-supplied internet filters.

Unsuspecting school children, believing themselves to be using a safe school research database, can easily stumble into these sexually explicit materials while searching otherwise benign topics on EBSCO databases.

But it wasn’t just Colorado parents who were upset about the EBSCO porn content. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has included the database on its last two annual “Dirty Dozen” lists, where it reports on the absolute worst 12 corporations in America, to “name and shame the mainstream players in America that perpetuate sexual exploitation—whether that be through pornography, prostitution, sexual objectification, sexual violence and/or sex trafficking.”

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NCOSE’s page on EBSCO should be a concern to all parents. As the organization shows, many children are being exposed to such non-research materials as “21 sex tips” which “encourage readers to film their sex acts together,” among other things.

*Video warning: sexually graphic material discussed, and brief sexualized images are shown.

NCOSE reports that EBSCO did make an effort to clean up its databases, but while the company claimed it had removed all “sexually graphic content” in June 2017, later that month, “NCOSE researchers found over 50 sexually graphic articles across 4 states in 50 minutes of searching. The vast majority of these graphic results came directly from EBSCO’s middle school and elementary school databases.”

Thus, EBSCO remained on the 2018 list. And while the databases are better, NCOSE notes that exposing any age minor to such content is a reprehensible thing.

In Cherry Creek Schools, parents are glad the decision has been made, especially since since the district has had its own sexual assault scandal happening at the elementary school as recently as this year. But that story was nothing compared to the grand jury indictment of administrators for failure to report another assault at the middle school, and local news reported in an investigation that multiple sexual assaults went unreported in Cherry Creek Schools:

Since 2016, FOX31 Problem Solvers found at least 30 incidents where Cherry Creek students reported being raped, sodomized, groped, fondled and touched inappropriately by other students while at school.

That number does not take into account alleged sex assaults on multiple students by Cherry Creek staff within that same time frame.

And while the district’s history with sexual assaults may or may not be related to its database materials which help normalize sexual deviance, getting that out of the schools is a welcome act. Thomas More reports:

“We are just happy the school district finally is doing the right thing,” said Dr. Robin Paterson, one of the parents most involved in the effort. “It’s taken two years,” she said. “But better late than never.”

When asked whether the school district’s action was in response to parental pressure, Dr. Paterson said, “There’s no way of knowing for sure. Cherry Creek School District has been so combative with parents about this, we wouldn’t be surprised if they deny that parents were the cause of this decision.”

Paterson said that she believes without the parental pressure, the district’s use of EBSCO would not have stopped, and she counts it a victory for parental rights.

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