Well, today we attended a meeting of the Cherry Creek School District’s Parent Council. It was very short on parents and very long on administration flunkies.
Parents had been asked to send questions that they would like the Superintendent, Mr. Harry Bull, to answer. It was the “Ask the Superintendent” meeting and it was stacked with sycophants, eager to please the Superintendent. We were not there to please but to ask a very basic question: “What is being done about the pornography being made available to children through the District’s web portals?”
Mr. Bull made some startling admissions; startling in the fact that for the first time in 5 months, he was actually making the admissions in a public forum. Here are some of his statements and what he admitted to:
- Yes, pornography is available to students through database resources such as EBSCO.
Well, it certainly is and we have been repeatedly bringing this fact to the District’s attention for over 5 months, with little being done about it. It is only under intense local and national attention that they have made even the most cosmetic of changes. In the absence of this attention, nothing would have been done.
- The District has filters in place
Well, within the school, some of it can be filtered but much of it cannot. However, as we all know, internet access is not restricted to the schools; the kids have access at home, in their bedrooms, at the public library, at Starbucks, anywhere there is wifi. It is clear that Mr. Bull is only concerned with limiting the school’s liability, not in actually protecting children.
By Mr. Bull’s own admission, during lengthy private meetings with us, some schools do not even go through the District’s portals. The school librarian can make the decision on what data bases to use and how the child is accessing them. Many CCSD middle and high schools are now advertising mobile apps for EBSCO and other vendors that circulate pornography.
The District is now, disturbingly, pushing kids to get the “mobile app” that will allow them to access this material anywhere. This means that they can access the pornography at school, or off-site, by merely using their own data plan. Does no one see how Orwellian and purposeful this is?
- Mr. Bull likened the availability of this pornographic material as being no different than what a child might find in a Google search.
This is certainly true, the difference being that parents don’t expect their schools to be the pimps of this material. They understand the dangers of Google searches; they have been warned repeatedly of these dangers. The District, however, refuses to send out any parent advisory, letting parents know of the dangers their schools have placed in the children’s path. Mistakenly, they trust the schools.
The hard core and violent pornography available in EBSCO, ProQuest, and other school sponsored online vendors is positioned so that it pops up unexpectedly in benign searches. In fact, EBSCO Novelist is categorically designed with ADULT EROTICA and an Introduction to BDSM with live links to readable books.
Mr. Bull also failed to grasp the fact that Google is free, while taxpayers in this district are actually paying to have their children exposed to pornography. It is akin to paying to be humiliated and whipped which, by the way, is some of the material available to kids that walk on the wild side that is the Cherry Creek digital information network.
- The parents are accusing teachers of purposely directing students to this objectionable material.
Well, now, this is just a plain, flat-out, bald-faced lie. We are on record, at more than one Board of Education meeting, as saying that teachers have been placed in a very uncomfortable position. The District expects them to use this garbage and they, like most concerned parents, don’t want to. However, liking to be employed, they do it, or try to avoid having to use these sites.
- The District has removed some of the material but expects the public to tell the district if they find anything objectionable.
Since Mr. Bull refuses to send out any information advising parents of the presence of danger, it is most cynical and disingenuous of Mr. Bull to then place the burden of discovery on parents. He is fully aware that in the modern world of 2 working parents, where each is working 8-10 hours a day, where kids need to be picked up, transported to athletics, fed, bathed and put to bed, there is little likelihood that they will then spend the remaining 20 minutes of a conscious life wondering whether their child’s school has left any porno-bombs lying around in the school promoted porn sites.
- Mr. Bull made repeated reference to “one family” having dubious motivations and being “haters”.
Apparently, in Mr. Bull’s assessment of the world and the parents in it, if you don’t like porn being presented to your kids, you are a “hater” and have questionable motivations.
Let’s be clear, our motivations are plain, they have been repeated often to Mr. Bull, and his minions, Scott Siegfried and Jason Koenig, NO PORN TO CHILDREN. We can’t make it any clearer than that. Pornography, mixed with a dose of Disney, does not make pornography any more aceptable, Mr. Bull.
The “hate” is also plain and simple; we reserve it for adults that seek to cheapen, demean, and dehumanize the childhood experience. There is just something hardened, callous, and corrupt about an adult that tries to take away childhood innocence long before it is necessary. We adults have made a mess of the world; let’s leave the kids alone for as long as we can. There is plenty of time, later, for them to become hardened, callous, and corrupt.
- Mr. Bull also made repeated references to anyone being concerned with this material as being “censors”.
So, we’re confused. Mr. Bull agreed that some of the material had been removed. So, is he a censor? If he is so anti-censorship, why did he have some of the material removed? And if he had it removed, is he, therefore, a censor.
Mr. Bull wants to have his cake and eat it too. Clearly he was playing to his adoring and like minded educrats in the audience. Apparently, they were as incapable of appreciating irony as was Mr. Bull himself. They are like the petulant children in the universities, violently asserting their right to their 1st Amendment “speech”, all the while denying those same rights to others. The irony and hypocrisy is just lost on them.
So, again, for the slow among us, there are all forms of censorship that are entirely appropriate. The usual hackneyed example is yelling fire in a crowded theater; not allowed. Uttering threats against another person; not allowed. Lying under oath; not allowed. We censor all sorts of things, and for very good reasons, only a dolt would think otherwise. The question is an appropriate level and rationale for censoring.
Porn in front of children should just be a no-brainer.
Other Curious Utterances
- Mr. Bull made allusions to the pornography not being easy to find and that children had to go in search of it.
First, this is just not true; any child could do an innocent search and apply filters for Human Biology and for a Grade 7-8 lexile level. What comes up? Orgasms for All and other highly sexualized material. The child might have just been trying to work on a biology essay. He or she will certainly get more than they bargained for.
This material is so embedded throughout the databases that it is like a highly metastasized cancer; there is no hope for the patient and death can only follow. Mr. Bull seems obsessed with continuing life support as if the sites were his children. Curiously, Mr. Bull seems more intent on protecting the sites than in protecting children.
- Mr. Bull had many fans, who seemed to appreciate his comments that the porn is hard to get at, the parents are haters, and censors, and that there is a conspiratorial agenda, replete with suspicious motivations, at play.
It is also clear that the applause became more muted the longer he talked. Mr. Bull would do well to consider that a monologue is like watching paint dry.
- During the course of his monologue, Mr. Bull knowingly made a number of factual errors. When we tried to correct the record, the exchange became quite heated, with Mr. Bull shouting us down and asking us to leave.
Mr. Bull is not the President of the Council. He is not the Moderator of the meetings. He is not a member of the council. He was a guest speaker. This is how bad it has become in the Cherry Creek School District. The Board is a puppet of Mr. Bull, the PTOCs are merely yes women, the Council is his personal PR arm. This man controls everything that is going on in the district. His ego is boundless and anyone associated in any capacity with the District genuflects before his image.
4. After the meeting, a curious old gentleman approached us out of the crowd with an aggressive and belligerent manner. I don’t know whether it was dementia or Alzheimer’s, or whether his cardigan was just too tight, but he declared himself a “liberal” and said he had no interest in hearing anything from us.
Certainly, it is the truly ignorant, or the truly infirm, who feel that they have nothing further to learn. The confirmation from the Superintendent, Mr. Bull, that pornography was, indeed, embedded in the data bases, as well as the acknowledgement that much of it cannot be filtered, seemed not to faze this liberal stalwart one iota; the mind recoils at the thought of what is contained within his basement. Possibly, it might just have been an excess of toadying.
5. A woman, seated in front of us, seemed angered at our questioning of Mr. Bull during his prepared speech but, afterward, asked for some of our material and stated she was very concerned with what she had heard.
All-in-all, a very interesting meeting. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world. It pays heavy dividends when you understand your adversary.