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Promotions from within: the incestuous, inbred culture of the CCSD has led to scandal after scandal

For the past 2 years, the beleaguered CCSD has been embroiled in sex scandals, cover ups, and questions about misuse of its in-house CARELINE (the CCSD has now switched to the State run SAFE – 2 – TELL). Superintendent Harry Bull conveniently enjoyed an early “retirement” around the time that serial rapist, Brian Vasquez, was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. The scandal involving “EBSCO Porn” in kid’s digital homework tools has gone viral around the nation after it was first discovered in CCSD middle schools.

As this school district, rocked by scandal, attempts to heal and regain community trust, would not it be prudent to engage new leadership?

Instead, however, Harry Bull was replaced by his second in charge, Scott Siegfried, who is on pubic record, using School Board meeting time, to actually defend the porn in the school databases (on the grounds that as long it was just online, and not in a hard copy book, such content was permissible). Scott Siegfried was also in charge of the in-house Careline which was later shut down amid questions about its usefulness. At the time, the CCSD was the only district in the state of Colorado that had chosen to “internally evaluate” its own safety tips in lieu of using the Attorney General’s Safe 2 Tell used by other Colorado schools.

And this guy is now the Superintendent. We did open records to see who else might have been under consideration for the position that Bull suddenly vacated, and there was nobody else. The fix was in.

And, the truth is, we may never know what was buried in the now defunct CareLine; were there tips about Vasquez’s 5 year rape spree? Overland Principal’s son, Lundie? Hundreds of student on student assaults that went unreported?

Members of our group had past, personal experience with the CCSD Careline – raising serious concerns that were ignored. The black-hole that is the Careline legacy is nothing to be proud of.

Scott Siegfried should have been held accountable, as apparently was his predecessor, for his inactions that imperiled students across the district, but instead he was promoted.

And, as for the illustrious CCSD Board, now that President, Dave Willman (or “Willy” as he was known on the private social media accounts that he shared with students) has been forced to resign in disgrace, he has been replaced with long time board member, Karen Fisher.

Karen Fisher has been on the board way too long. It is appalling that she should be rewarded with a promotion after her disgraceful conduct during the “EBSCO Porn” scandal, actually defending porn as something that might have “educational value” for CCSD students.

Members of our organization spoke to Ms. Fisher 3 years ago, before the district had made the decision to cancel its EBSCO subscriptions amid scandal. The following is a 2016 documentation of a phone call with Karen Fisher during which her incompetence and really, her complete lack of any common sense at all, is glaringly evident.

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Documentation of conversation with School Board Member, Karen Fisher, on October 20, 2016 by member of CCSD Conversations Group:

We called School Board Member, Ms. Karen Fisher, and had a 3 way conversation with her on speaker. We reviewed the problem with the numerous links to sexual material and pornography embedded into our Cherry Creek library websites and student accounts. We also reviewed our findings that teachers are actually directing children to these tiles and resource links, as part of assigned work which is not optional. There is no parental disclosure. We told her we now have screenshots of actual assignments for 9th graders requiring them to access some of the databases that contain links to pornography.

Ms. Fisher appeared very silent and even to lack interest. She told us point blank at the beginning of the phone call that there really wasn’t anything she would be able to do. We challenged this statement on the grounds that she is an elected official who is supposed to oversee our school and have authority in this capacity. However, she did not see things this way and argued that it was her understanding that the matter was already being taken care of by school administrators.

We corrected Ms. Fisher and again tried to explain that the reason we were calling her was to advise that the school was, in fact, not cooperating with the removal of the sexual material. In fact, as we explained to her, we had been told by Associate Superintendent Scott Siegfried that he had made the decision to leave all of the sexual material on every High School website and student account across the District.

We explained to her that he had acknowledged the problem with the sexual and pornographic content, issued a brief apology, and removed it from our middle school websites – but made the decision to leave it on all of the High School websites. He further explained that he was planning to establish a review committee which would make decisions about whether to remove the sexual material from High School websites at some future, unspecified date. Ms. Fisher then corrected us, telling us that it had been her understanding that the review committee was only going to be reviewing new material, not old material. She then indicated that it was thus clear that Cherry Creek had reached its conclusion – it had decided to leave the existing sexual material on all High School websites. She indicated that she was happy with this decision.

We challenged Ms. Fisher again. We asked her point blank whether, in her opinion, she thought that pornography was appropriate for a High School website. She said she didn’t know. When we pressed her for an answer, she continued to take the position that she didn’t know whether there was any educational value to pornography and that she was very comfortable deferring to the experts in this regard, being the Cherry Creek educators, who had already reached their considered decision on the matter. We were dumbfounded and continued to press Ms. Fisher but she insisted that she was not an expert in education and therefore had no opinion regarding the use of pornography as an educational tool. We specifically asked Ms. Fisher if she could tell us the educational value that she found in such things as the “pocket pussy”, the “strap on dildo”, anal sex videos, and other pornographic material. She communicated her deference to the expertise of the educators in such matters, and communicated that the matter appeared to be closed since those educators had now reached their decision.

We tried to explain to Ms. Fisher that, in the meantime, we had newly discovered additional sexual and pornographic material linking out of our school websites, and that we felt we were being ignored by Scott Siegfried, who was not willing to shut them down – even from the Middle School websites. We had thought that, at the least, our District was going to protect the Middle Schools, if not the High Schools. But we were unsuccessful in engaging Ms. Fisher’s interest.

 In fact, through the course of the conversation, Ms. Fisher actually expressed to us some skepticism regarding our findings of obscene and pornographic material. She told us that she hadn’t had any other parent complaints. She also told us that she has children of her own, and none of them have reported the finding of any obscene material from school websites. She felt sure that if there was indeed pornography then her children would have told her about it. At this time, we asked Ms. Fisher whether, in fact, she had actually received any of the letters we had copied to the School Board and in which we had enclosed screenshots of the links. She wasn’t sure. However, when we pressed, she did tell us that she was at her computer and had located one in her inbox. She did explain to us that the School Board Members don’t always get their correspondence from parents because their inbox was overwhelmed and so things got missed. Of course, this also raises the question of whether there might have been other parent complaints buried in the School Board’s inbox.

 It was very apparent from speaking with Ms. Fisher that she had not spent much or, possibly, any time actually reading our letters or reviewing the screenshots which we had worked so hard to prepare. She simply didn’t seem to care and didn’t seem to feel responsible in any way. We reminded Ms. Fisher that the School’s Library Policy actually names the School Board Members as having the ultimate responsibility for decisions regarding media. However, she didn’t seem to be aware of this policy and wasn’t impressed by hearing of it. She repeatedly indicated that it was her understanding that School Administrators, and not the Board, were responsible for, and solely qualified to determine, the media content of school websites, library catalogs and student accounts.

We also shared our concern with Ms. Fisher that Dr. Siegfried had refused to reveal the name/s of those administrators and Cherry Creek employees who were responsible for the apparently deliberate placement of links to obscene material on our school’s websites. In fact, we told her that he actually stated “I will never tell you that” when we pressed him, as parents and taxpayers, to identify and hold this person/s accountable. Ms. Fisher did not appear to be at all worried about this and assured us that there were regulations or laws in place that would surely preclude revealing matters related to personnel to the public. She offered further empty assurances that if they had found any wrong doing on the part of an employee, they would have been dealt with accordingly. She didn’t seem to know anything much about it or appear interested in pursuing it.

 Eventually, it seemed to us that we were simply taking up Ms. Fisher’s time. Towards the end of the conversation, we expressed our disappointment and pressed her to at least speak to the Superintendent, Dr. Bull. She agreed that she would do this. We told her that we wanted to have a meeting with the members of the School Board but she told us that she didn’t think such a meeting could take place because it was outside normal policy. She reminded us that we could always have our 3 minutes to address the Board during their meetings. We then asked if they would provide av equipment at the Board meeting to show visuals, and whether we could have longer than 3 minutes. She didn’t know and said she would ask Dr. Bull for his permission. She also reminded us that she didn’t think it was viable to have parents ask for special meetings with the School Board because there would be too many people who wanted to talk to them and would set a bad precedent. When we tried to convince her of the gravity of this particular concern, as it related to the distribution of pornographic links to thousands of children District-wide, she simply didn’t respond.

Finally, we asked Ms. Fisher whether she would get back to us with a report of Dr. Bull’s comments, but she said she thought that one of the office assistants would probably get back to us eventually.

 


 

… It just doesn’t say anything good about the direction of the CCSD when its leaders are afraid to look outside for fresh direction. It is the incestuous, inbred culture of the CCSD that has led to scandal after scandal, placing thousands of children in harms way. Promotion of the same people who perpetuated the problems to begin with only shows that the CCSD is afraid of outside scrutiny.

What else might they be hiding?

WHAT PARENT’S RIGHTS?

Harmful Surveys and Parental Rights

Think the intrusive, loaded surveys administered to your kids through your schools are bad? Well, we agree but at least most schools will give parents an opt-out (if they keep on top of their emails – notice may be short).

Parent’s rights have been at the forefront of discussions and legal battles for years now, both in Colorado, and around the country. It seems obvious that parents should have a right to know what kind of surveys are being pushed at their kids, and a right to know with whom the information is being shared, and why.

The wisdom, and even the scientific validity, of some of these so called “health” surveys has been drawn into serious question. We have seen surveys that appear more like push polls, with stacked, loaded questions which appear designed to make harmful suggestions to kids. Unbelievably, there are surveys with questions that seem designed to actually market birth control and tobacco products by name brand.

Parents are told this is for the good of our kids, but some surveys appear to target children as a marketplace, to sell products, and to push propaganda.

Ever Think Your Own Pediatrician Would Be On Board With This?

Most parents would answer “No!” to this question. But how would you know?

Here’s an example from Greenwood Pediatrics in Metro Denver – our organization has received a copy of the “secret survey” being administered to kids, 14 years old, with no notification to, or discussion with, parents; per clinic policy.

Although “opt-out” is an available option for parents, they first have to know that the survey is going to be given to their child. Invariably, this information is kept hidden.

The “secret” survey is complete with leading questions about oral, and anal sex, and sexual orientation.

The “secret” survey also contains leading questions that suggest self-harm is somehow a natural extension of feeling sad (if you felt sad 3 times, then suicide would be your next thought, right, kids?), or that vomiting is somehow a natural extension of wanting to lose weight (need to lose a few pounds, then surely you’ve thought about laxatives and vomiting, right, kids?).

 

The explanation offered by the clinic for not advising parents of the survey was that “it’s best done [issuing survey to minors] without informing parents”, and if parents were aware of the survey they might “interfere”.

And perhaps most alarming of all, the minor child is asked for a signature to waive their right to a chaperone during any physical exam that might take place. Given recent news reports of pediatricians being charged with multiple counts of sexual assault on a child, does anyone think barring an observer is a good idea? No, that is why they ask the child and not the parent.
Many experts warn that kids should not be unattended in the doctor’s office due to the rash of serial sex assaults by pediatricians, such as the infamous, Larry Nassar case, Withham Health in Indiana, or Laurel Pediatrics, PA, to name a few.

Where Do The Survey Responses Go?

Well, that is the question, isn’t it?

One would like to think that HIPPA laws would protect this type of data. Maybe not.

What are the implications of a child, without the guidance of a parent, answering some of these questions? We have heard of surveys given by clinics that ask the child’s religion. How is this germane to medical care? Is there a “right” answer? What answer are they looking for? Who gets the answer? None of these questions are likely to be answered by your pediatrician’s office.

What you are likely to get, is defensiveness, hostility, deflection, and a refusal to give you a copy of the survey administered to your child, without your knowledge or input.

Parents Are Bad!

Most galling is the premise on which all this secrecy and deflection is based: parents are bad.

Now, pediatricians like those at Greenwood Pediatrics will deny this is the premise, but why else would they exclude the parent from this whole process?

Well, let’s face it, some parents are bad, that is the plain truth and we all know it. The book, Mommy Dearest wasn’t written to describe a happy, healthy homelife.

However, to base policy on such a view of parents is simply misguided and an insult to the 99.99% of parents that hold the health and well being of their children uppermost in their lives. It is why they get up in the morning, many working at jobs they hate. It is why they work long hours, travel frequently, lose sleep, worry, fret, go to basketball games and volleyball tournaments. They do these things because their children are the true measure of their wealth in this world.

The medical community, as guided by the increasingly radical American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), does all of these good parents a cynical and hideous disservice. The erosion of the parent – pediatrician relationship was the topic of a recent essay in Public Discourse.

Don’t Accept It!

The lack of respect for parent’s rights, in schools and health-care, needs to be stopped.

One way to confront this issue is by early intervention.

At the beginning of each school year, write to the Principal, your child’s counselor, the Dean, any and all administrators that you think have interaction with your child and provide a clear directive that no survey is to be given to your child, unless you have time to review it and opt-in.

During parent teacher conferences, repeat to each teacher, no surveys are to be given without your approval.

Avoid School Based Health Clinics, the poster child for violation of parental rights, as we have written about previously

On your child’s first visit with his/her pediatrician, take a written directive that will instruct the physician’s office that no survey is to be given to your child unless it is first discussed with you.

As responsible, caring, parents, we need to confront this issue head-on. Unlike these surveys, secretly administered to your child, our motivation is clear: development of a healthy, happy child.

CENSORSHIP of EBSCO Porn Information

Who is Censoring EBSCO Porn Information?

 Is EBSCO in the information delivery service… or the censorship business?

We don’t know who is behind the “Wikipedia War” but we have to assume they have a vested interest in keeping the EBSCO Porn scandal out of the public eye.

So, whether the entity responsible for the censorship war is EBSCO, Tim Collins, or perhaps the ALA or some other entity (it has a strange similarity to the wording in Jim Duncan’s “Strident Claims” manifesto) … we want to set the record straight.

This is the accurate and referenced submission by
Concerned Citizens to Wikipedia regarding the so called “EBSCO Controversy”:

Wikipedia War

The information in the above section, “Controversy” has been the subject of an interesting “Wikipedia War”. Originally, our factual commentary was published on Wikipedia by
Concerned Citizens. This information provided Wikipedia readers with the facts about the controversies that have troubled EBSCO concerning its K-12 school products.

Later, the information was deleted by another user, in an apparent attempt to censor the information, facts and references so that Wikipedia readers could not learn about the controversy.

Our factual submission was replaced with the following, highly truncated version. There are many facts and references omitted, creating a highly misleading account of the controversy. The usurping of K-12 “homework” databases to stream sex ads and porn at students is trivialized by the author as follows: 

 


 Every time the factual submission  by Concerned Citizens has been deleted, we have replaced it.  We go round and round in circles with the censor on the other end.

This has taken place a number of time, creating a battle between information and censorship.  How ironic that an information company should be at the center of a censorship battle.

 

Colorado’s “School Based Health Care”: Conflict of Interest?

 

The issue of youth suicide is an important topic that has been raised by lawmakers this legislative session. Colorado schools seem to do an inadequate job of addressing bullying and suicide. The bills that were introduced this session were redundant and weak, and at least one had some pretty glaring optics when it comes to financial conflicts of interest.

Of particular note, a suicide prevention bill with bipartisan support failed in the senate. HB18 -1177, proposed to lower the age of consent for mental health treatment, without parental consent, to 12 years old. It would also have funded unspecified “nonprofits” to issue suicide prevention training to community leaders, such as coaches or scout leaders.

HB18-1177 was sponsored by Don Coram and Dafna Michaelson, who sponsored a similar bill last year and presumably will bring it back again next year, perhaps under yet a different disguise.

The bill received support from families who were brave enough to share their personal stories of tragedy, but there were just too many loose ends for senate to pass it. Senators pointed out that the bill simply replicated numerous existing services such as Safe2Tell and many others.

At the hearing, Don Coram was chided by the Chairwoman for his sarcastic outburst when the bill failed, suggesting that those opposed to the bill just wanted to save education money by having children die.  His outburst was covered by Colorado Pols http://www.coloradopols.com/diary/107736/stay-classy-sen-don-coram-suicide-saves-money-edition#sthash.iiOP3tVu.dpbs

Let’s take a closer look at HB18-1177… is it really about suicide prevention or is that just the box sticker to create emotional appeal?

The language of HB18-1177 left a BIG BLACK BOX in between the identification of children requiring mental health therapy (but whose parents could not be trusted to be included in the loop), and the means by which a state designated mental health therapist would gain access to the child to deliver the counseling.

We were left wondering what something like this would look like…

A baseball coach is concerned about the mental status of a 12 year old kid on the team and decides to refer the child for counseling without informing the child’s parents.

How would this play out? Once convincing the child that they needed to see a shrink, would the coach arrange to pick them up around the corner where the parents couldn’t see? Hopefully not.

And we don’t mean to be glib about something as serious as a child needing help. But let’s be honest. This is an expansion of the burgeoning “School Based Health Care” (SBHC) industry in Coloardo. And yet nowhere in the language of HB18 – 1177 was there a single mention of SBHC. It is the only logical place that this type of service can be delivered to children, so why hide the fact?

Is there a financial conflict of interest?

Colorado’s SBHC is big business and it’s funded through grants from the CDPHE under the direction of Larry Wolk. Larry Wolk is the founder, and is on the staff at Rocky Mountain Youth Clinic – the state’s largest school based clinic. How can Larry Wolk be both the grantor and the (indirect) recipient of the grant without there being a conflict of interest?

Do parents know that school based health staff are able to enter classrooms to give instruction?

Do they know about Colorado’s LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraception) Program, which entitles minors to obtain IUDs and other forms of birth control at school, without parental consent? Do parents know that LARC products are being promoted, by manufacturer name, through loaded “questions” in school issued “health surveys” (such as the highly controversial, Healthy Kids Survey)?

Do parents understand that HB18-1177 would have granted the power for school based health staff and their partners to issue mental health treatment to children as young as 12 years old, at school, during school hours, without parental notification…ever?

School based health care may have originated to serve community needs, but it seems to be morphing into something else. Are parents just in the way? Will they just bill Medicaid?

Do parents know that Colorado’s SBHC industry has produced documents which advise staff on pushing back against community concerns such as this one? The CASBHC is an admitted partner of our state CDPHE. Why would they need something like this?

Do parents know that school based health staff are also issuing “depression screening” to students? We have to assume the staff means well, but without any oversight what is to stop this train from casting the net ever wider, maybe 25% of kids need mental health counseling, maybe 50%, maybe 90%….

The lack of parental oversight, combined with the allure of millions of federal Medicaid dollars might just prove too irresistible to some clinics.

Parents are shut out of the loop. They have no ability to check the credentials of the therapist or evaluate the therapeutic outcome – because they don’t even know about it. And, as you might imagine, given the liability that would be integral to issuing any kind of treatment to a child without benefit of their medical records or parental input, HB18-1177 was laden with disclaimers to protect therapists and others from any malpractice or responsibility of any kind.

Concerned Citizens comments on HB18-117:

 

Does Colorado SBHC falsify documents to justify a radical agenda?

 In its Feb 2018 newsletter, the SBHC issued the following misinformation. An article titled “6 Things Parents Can Do to Create A Healthy Parent/Child Relatonship Around Gender” was falsely credited to the CDC. In fact this highly controversial document was not produced by the CDC, it was produced by the national affilitate, the School Based Health Alliance,

The article, which gives advise to parents for encouraging children to explore whether their biological gender is a good fit, can be found here   sbh4all gender fluidity doc

The CDC responded to our group with a letter confirming the document was not produced by the CDC and expressing their concern over the “unauthorized use of CDC branding”.  To be clear, the CDC has never published this kind of advice for parents. Encouraging children to question their biological gender is radical advice put out by the Gender Spectrum organization and School Based Health organizations. For more information regarding the growing controversy over the institutionalized push to confuse children about gender, check out 4th Wave Now  https://4thwavenow.com/ and Transgender Trend https://www.transgendertrend.com/ .

The so called “gender spectrum” theory is a dangerous pop culture myth targeting children for medical experimentation with pharmaceutical and surgical interference with normal biological development of the child. It is truly outrageous that Colorado’s SBHC industry should issue radical information under the misrepresentation that such material is endorsed by the CDC, thus eliminating and basically censoring any discussion or dissenting opinion, of which there is plenty.

Here is an excerpt of the response from the CDC in which it is clear that they did not issue the above document and have contacted school based health officials to reign them in.

In light of the recent bill, HB18-1177, which is sorely lacking in transparency when it comes to delivery of school based mental health care, there are some very serious questions to be asked about the direction of SBHC in Coloardo.

What are their goals?

And why in the world would Colorado SBHC feel the need to falsify documents in an apparent attempt to leverage increased credibility? And how does this lack of transparency feed into its plans for expansion?

If they have misled the public about their connection to the CDC, what else are they misleading the public about?

Bottom line: Youth suicide is a terrible concern for Colorado and it should not be exploited for profit or special interest.

 

An Open Response to the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) Regarding Pornography in the EBSCO Databases Made Available to Children by Schools and Libraries

EBSCO School database provider named to the Dirty Dozen for second year running by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation

 

BACKGROUND

For their second year running, EBSCO has been named to the Dirty Dozen List by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) as a major contributor to the sexual exploitation of women and children.

As awareness spreads around the country, many parents and teachers remain unaware of the dangers embedded in EBSCO digital “homework” or “research” products. Information, including video evidence, is available at the NCOSE website.

NCOSE Dirty Dozen List: Shocking EBSCO Content of Children’s Digital Products

FORMATION OF CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR SCHOOL DATABASES IN RESPONSE TO EBSCO SCANDAL

Almost 2 years ago, the Colorado Library Consortium, or “CLiC”, was notified of pornographic content easily available to children through innocent searches in the EBSCO K-12 databases. They failed to act to protect children.

In response, Concerned Citizens for School Databases, a Colorado community group was formed and has fostered relationships with numerous parties and organizations around the country.

EBSCO is not just a Colorado problem. EBSCO sells its K-12 products to roughly 55,000 schools all over America, as well as internationally.

The mission of Concerned Citizens is to increase awareness around the country that digital, school portals have been usurped to advertise and promote the $95 billion dollar sex industry. We call on schools and public libraries to demand that EBSCO remove any and all pornography, obscene material, and sex toy ads from the EBSCO digital database products .

We call on lawmakers to enforce existing laws prohibiting the display of obscene and pornographic material to children.

For background on how EBSCO positions itself in the market, and with its publishing partners, see, “EBSCO The Natural Partner”. This document clearly details EBSCO’s sales pitch to its publishing partners on how EBSCO can help them increase brand awareness and market penetration.

Why would these be important considerations for content publishers in a product designed for K-12 schools? More on this later.

EBSCO The Natural Partner

CLIC LASHES OUT AT THE COMMUNITY IN RESPONSE TO GROWING COMPLAINTS

In an apparent response to the rising number of concerns, the CLiC, EBSCO’s wholesaler in Colorado, has produced a lengthy “Guide” for librarians with advice on how to push back against the community.  This document, written by CLiC Manager, Jim Duncan, can be read in its entirety at Understanding Strident Claims.

It would be hard to imagine a more hysterical pamphlet than that produced by the CLiC.

Despite the breathy, high-pitched tone of the screed, nowhere in his lengthy rant  does Jim Duncan, Director of CLiC, ever deny the existence of the obscene and pornographic content in the EBSCO products “designed” for minors. Why would he, EBSCO itself does not deny that there is pornography in it’s k-12 products. You would think that fact alone might clarify the issue for Mr. Duncan but, sadly, it does not.

It is notably ironic that the title of the CLiC’s raving is, “Understanding Strident Claims About Electronic Resources” and yet, reading through its 25 pages, it is truly difficult to imagine anything more stridently alarmist. Anyone concerned with the delivery of pornography and sex toy ads to children is denounced as a “book burner” or a “censor”. Clearly, Mr. Duncan doesn’t know the job of a parent, maybe he doesn’t have kids. One of the primary jobs of a parent is to act as the family censor; it is a parent’s duty, springing from love of their child, that requires them to protect their child from any material that is not appropriate for their level of development and which might harm a mind not yet ready for some material.

Let’s try to penetrate the hyperbole, hysteria, misinformation and alarmist tone of this document and actually get to some facts.

FALSE ASSERTIONS MADE BY CLiC ALONG WITH OUR GROUPS RESPONSES

a. Patrons Voicing Concerns about Porn-for-kids are “Book Burners”

From the outset, the “Strident Claims” document labels those who raise concerns about child safety as “Accusers” who demand nothing less than a full-scale BAN of all databases and certain e-book products.

CLiC produces a “Dear Colleague” manifesto instructing Colorado librarians to push back against concerned patrons as “Attackers”…

Such accusations are absurd and the CLiC knows this.

For the record, there have been communications with CLiC representatives, EBSCO representatives, school administrators, and library officials wherein we have repeatedly asked only that the pornography be removed from the K-12 databases being made available to children.

Through the course of our inquiries and research, we have learned that much of the obscene and pornographic imagery, text, and hyperlinks will not be removed from EBSCO’s digital “homework” products. EBSCO has indicated that, by contractual arrangement, the material submitted by their publishing partners cannot be filtered.

No member of our group is demanding a “ban” of all databases. The position of Concerned Citizens for School Databases is that digital products  for minors, currently in use, be filtered to block all obscene and pornographic material for minors.  If that is not possible, then they should be replaced with other, similar products which do not contain obscene material.

This is an eminently reasonable request and one which would no doubt be shared by the majority of concerned parents, educators, librarians and citizens.

False statements made by CLiC in their manifesto, “Strident Claims…”

Instead of dealing rationally with community concerns, the CLiC, much like Chicken Little, screams that the sky is falling..

CLiC’s position is, however,  consistent with that of the American Library Association (ALA) that, “…Library policies and procedures that effectively deny minors equal and equitable access to all library resources available to other users violates the Library Bill of Rights…” and, “The American Library Association opposes all attempts to restrict access to library services based on the age of library users

Excerpt from the ALA “Bill of Rights” http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/minors

Many in the community would take exception with such a policy as radical and harmful to minors. Such policies stand in direct contradiction to filtering and other statutes designed to protect minors from obscene material.

Yet, our public libraries are placed between a rock and hard place when it comes to upholding community standards of safety, and meeting ALA policy expectations.  Librarians are placed at odds with the communities they are supposed to serve.

b. The “Strident Claims” Document States That School and Public Libraries Possess The Expertise And Responsibility To Choose, License Or Buy Whatever Content They Deem Valuable And Useful To Their Local Communities

It is interesting to note that the CLiC seems to be of the impression that libraries set the standards for the community they serve and not the other way around. Yet, the community, through their tax dollars, pays for all of the library products and, surely, the community has the ultimate say in what material is valuable to them, and what is not. Libraries, it seems, are no longer in place to serve, but to dictate. That’s good to know.

The “Strident Claims” document appears designed to set our libraries against the communities they were established to serve. It advises all librarians to anticipate “attacks” and be on the look out for “book burners” (yes, these are quotes).  The “Strident Claims” document uses established propaganda techniques to incite fear and anger, making liberal use of inflammatory imagery such as the pouring of gasoline over books, and images of libraries going up in flames; Farenhiet 451 just around the corner.

To any rational person, this is nonsense.

c. The CLiC’s “Strident Claims” Manifesto Cites Concerned Citizens for School Databases as Claiming That “…librarians do not care about the safety of our children…”

Let the reader be the judge!

You will note that in the CLiC’s handy guide to dealing with community concern, there is no denial that the pornographic material is present in the EBSCO, and other, databases. No one denies that. EBSCO does not deny it. CLiC doesn’t deny it. Their position, as noted above, is all material to all people, regardless of age and appropriateness. If that means pornography to children, which is the CLiC and ALA position, then child safety is clearly not one of their priorities.

d. The CLiC’s “Strident Claims” Document Makes False Claims About Compliance With CIPA and State Law

This, obviously, is a legal question and we don’t see that any licensed attorney has co-authored the CLiC’s “Guide”.

However, let’s look at wording of the CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act)… kinda says it all, doesn’t it?

  1. Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

CIPA is administered by the Federal Communications Commission. CIPA was enacted by Congress in 2000.

What the act does, simply, is mandate certain internet protections for minors for any organization that receives discounts, funds, or grants from the federal government in the, so called, e-Rate system. Organizations wishing to receive these discounts must “certify that they have an internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. The protection measures must block or filter internet access to pictures that are (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors)”

In addition, “Schools and libraries subject to CIPA are required to adopt and implement a safety policy addressing:

  • access by minors to inappropriate matter on the internet;
  • the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications;
  • unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors online;
  • unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors, and
  • measures restricting minors’ direct access to materials harmful to them

See Children’s Internet Protection Act

Now, since no one denies that there is pornography in the EBSCO, and other, databases and this material is actively promoted for use by minors (as “Homework” help),  it is exceedingly confusing that CLiC would have us believe that libraries and schools using EBSCO are in compliance with CIPA.

Since this type of material can be accessed by minors, while within the EBSCO databases provided by the library, it seems clear that they are not CIPA compliant.

Libraries will, we can assure you, claim that they have filtering in place. The problem is, these so-called, “top site filters” cannot reach inside the proprietary EBSCO databases to filter anything. If you have any doubt about this, please see EBSCO on the Dirty Dozen List, then go to your local library and do some searching in the children’s recommended “homework” resources. What you will find will be very alarming.

2. Colorado State Law CRS 24-90-603 Also Specifies That Children Be Protected From Obscene Material

The CLiC and libraries are governed by Colorado State Law and must therefore comply with the following provisions:

CRS 24-90-603 Adoption and Enforcement of Policy of Internet Safety for Minors Including Technology Protection Measures – Public Libraries CRS – 24 – 90- 603

(1) No later than December 31, 2004, the governing body of each public library shall adopt and implement a policy of internet safety for minors that includes the operation of a technology protection measure for each computer by the public library allows for access to the internet by a minor.

The definition of what constitutes “technology protection measure” under CRS 24-90-630 is:

(7) “Technology protection measure” means a specific technology, including without limitation computer software, that blocks or filters internet access to visual depictions that are

  • (a) Obscene, as defined in section 18-7-101 (2) CRS
  • (b) Child Pornography, as defined in 18 U.S.C. sec. 2256 (8)
  • (c) Harmful to minors, except that no technology protection measure may block scientific or medically accurate information regarding sexual assault, sexual abuse, incest, sexually transmitted infections, or reproductive health.

Hmmm, scientifically and medically accurate? Maybe to Jim Duncan.

See CRS 24 -90- 602


g. CLiC’s “Strident Claims” document cites Colorado’s Adams 12 Five-Star Schools As Having Well Established Policies For Citizens To Challenge Material

It is certainly interesting that CLiC raises Adams 12 Five-Star School libraries as example of a library well equipped to deal with materials challenges. In fact, the Adams 12 District has been very responsive to concerns raised by parents allied with our group.

When shown the offensive material and the ease with which it can be accessed by children, Adams 12 took swift action. It seems they shut down access to the databases, contacted EBSCO, and demanded action to clean up the products before reinstating student access.

The rapid responsiveness of Adams 12 Five-Star District to community concerns begs the question: Why do other libraries and CLiC refuse to take the same safety measures?

h. CLiC’s  “Strident Claims” Document Declares “…Technology Solutions (such as filtering software or network devices) Are Used To Manage Blacklisted Web Sites…”

This is an extremely disingenuous statement.

First, EBSCO is not a web site and CLiC knows this.

EBSCO provides a database which can only be accessed by subscription. It is not the same as a “Google” search on the open internet. Material embedded within the EBSCO databases cannot be filtered from the outside and EBSCO has stated that they are bound by contract not to filter out any publisher material. Rather, they will remove entire publications if requested to do so.

So, there is no protection, short of a “pick-list” of publications (such as that created by Adams 12, see above).

Our Arapahoe Library District has not chosen to use the so-called “Adams 12”  pick list, despite our advising them of its availability. Some school districts have made use of a “pick list” to partially remove content that is obscene for minors, however it is cumbersome and one district CIO has said that trying to sort through it with EBSCO is exceedingly frustrating.

And it is a constant effort. New material is added daily. It would take a full-time team to keep the pick-list up to date and what school district has the money for this? And why should they have to do it?

i. CLiC’s “Strident Claims” Document States Correctly that “…Filtering is not perfect”

We finally agree. No, it is not and, in the case of an EBSCO database, it is not effective at all because EBSCO is shielded from top-site filters.

According to CLiC,, “The best organizations understand that “students, parents, teachers and community members are all concerned about internet filtering – so districts [and libraries] are more successful if they communicate their policies to all these groups”.

Conspicuous by its absence is any mention of CLiC or libraries being concerned about blocking obscene material from access by children; apparently, the important point is that they convey their policy. It seems protection of children is only a “student, parent, teacher and community members” concern.

It is also interesting to note that the primary concern of CLiC seems to be that “they communicate their policies to all these groups”, not that they do anything to protect our children, just that they communicate their policies, which, as we have seen, are that all materials be available to all patrons, at all times per their “Library Bill of Rights” policy. They make no distinction between  material that maybe appropriate for adults and material that is completely inappropriate for children. The distinction is irrelevant to them.

So, have libraries communicated this policy in a clear and transparent manner? Are Colorado parents aware of the Library Bill of Rights? Do they understand that by allowing their children to use the library they are agreeing that librarians may steer them to “homework” help resources containing obscene material? Doubtful.

Most parents would likely just keep their kids away from the library if its policies and Bill of Rights concerning minors were posted in a sign over the front door?

 

Extract from EBSCO “Homework” Database

What is CLIC’s justification for making pornography available to children and fighting so hard to maintain it?

To really understand the level of intransigence, just look at the suggested email template that libraries use to gain a “City Official(s)” trust and support:

Thus, the CLiC manifesto, “Strident Claims”, advises librarians to deceive city officials as to the nature of complaints received by community members. It is also interesting that the manifesto assumes, a priori, that complaints are invalid and should be summarily discredited without any investigation. Of course, knowing the material is there obviates any need to investigate.

j. CLiC’s “Strident Claims” Manifesto Specifies Certain “Strategies that will make your library or school look great”

Note, nowhere in its list of actions does the CLiC actually suggest that the librarian review the material with the complainant and then respond directly to the complaint. All the steps are designed to maintain the material, not to engage in any consideration of its merit in the library and certainly not any consideration of the appropriateness of the material for children.

And, to be clear, if any further clarity is needed, no one is challenging Huck Finn or To Kill A Mockingbird. We are talking about extremely graphic and obscene content, including advertisements for sex products, made available in your school and public libraries, under the cover of “Homework” and “Research” resources.

EBSCO’s “Homework” digital products are embedded with numerous full color advertisements for “sex toys”, some with live hyperlinks

k. “Strident Claims” States That “…Nationwide, school educators and librarians make purchasing decisions based on collection development guidelines or curriculum needs”.

So, can there actually be a “curriculum need’ for pornography?

l. “Strident Claims” States That “…these individuals [raising concerns about porn in kids’ digital products] claim that databases from EBSCO contain at least 200 obscene articles, stories, and images of a graphic nature”

Well, we counted 200 and then we just got tired of logging them all. The amount of pornography and sex toy ads is astounding. I wonder how much, or how little, is OK for our children? By CLiC’s standards, how much must there be for it to be unacceptable? No amount, no matter how much, seems unacceptable to CLiC.

CLiC seems to believe that the likelihood of a child just stumbling upon this offensive material is like winning the lottery but we have found it through benign ESBCO searches such as “diabetes”, “respiration”, “boy’s stories”, “girl’s stories”, “animal stories”, “human biology”, “fashion”, and so on. You can imagine what comes from these searches.

In fact, EBSCO school databases are preloaded with obscene search extenders i.e. live search recommendations for terms such as “lust”, “leather communities”, “bdsm”, “group sex” and many, many others. The very terms that should be properly filtered out are embedded as helpful search extenders.

Why?

m. The CLiC Manifesto Asks: “How Credible Are the Claims?”

Here, we again find something to agree on with CLiC: that you be the judge.

View the material at EBSCO on the Dirty Dozen List and judge for yourself!

 

EBSCO article espousing group sex, public sex and kink to minors as part of “Homework” database

Go to your local library and raise the concern and see where that gets you.

Raise the issue with your school principal and see what the result is.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation

CLiC appears to deride and denigrate this organization for trying to take steps to protect all of our children from the various methods of sexual exploitation.

Again, we encourage parents and anyone concerned with the effects of pornography on children to visit the NCOSE site and decide for yourself whether this organization should be scorned, or applauded.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Finally, we think any public entity is beholden to the community they serve, not the other way around. It is not CLiC or librarians that decide what products are appropriate for a publicly funded institution, it is the community  of tax payers that foot the bill. There is an old saying that he who pays the freight calls the weight. Well, the community pays the freight and it is time that CLiC understood this.

 

Cherry Creek Parents- It is time to make a stand

It seems logical that if Scott Siegfried assumes his new role as Superintendent of the Cherry Creek School District, business as usual, as it was under the appalling leadership of Harry Bull, will continue.

Our children will continue to be at risk.

Secrecy, a lack of transparency, and a lack of accountability will continue to be the norm.

Is this really what we want?

If it is, then be preapred.

If this is not what we want, there is something you can do. Go to Say No To Scott Siegfried and sign the petition to have Siegfried removed as Superintendent.

Want to See the New Face of the Cherry Creek School District High Schools?

 

Just because your tax dollars are paying for every book, every building, every salary, every pen, every video projector….everything that is in out public schools, don’t ever think that you, as a tax payer own them.

If you doubt this, Carla Stearns, the new Director of High School Education for the Cherry Creek School District will clear that up for you.

According to Carla Stearns, parents are not allowed to enter school facilities. You must have an appointment. But, here is the Catch 22; if you don’t have an appointment, you can’t enter but you can’t get an appointment cause no one will say they can set an appointment for you.

For those of you with your heads on straight, you already know we own those facilities and the people that work in them are our employees. They may think they work for the District but they work for us. Plain and simple.

Cherry Creek School District Policies KI and KI-R read as follows:

The Board of Education encourages parents/guardians and other citizens of the district to visit classrooms, activities and functions to observe the work of the schools. The Board believes that there is no better way for the public to learn what the schools are actually involved in and doing.

But, of course, Carla Stearns and other, like-minded bureaucrats in the district have absolutely no interest in your learning about what the schools are actually involved in and doing. In fact, secrecy and cover-up is the order.

And they will pick and choose the policies they want to follow.

The only conditions restricting an individual’s right to view the facilities is when that individual is causing a danger or disruption and such was not the case in the parent’s visit in the video, above.

If you look quick in the upper left of the video, as it starts, you will see one librarian. The parent was already there as a regular volunteer in the school store, and was concerned when her daughter came home with an adult book, containing inappropriate material.

There was not one single child in the library.

The parent called Barnes and Nobel and asked if they had this particular book on the children’s shelf in the store and she was told “Absolutely not. It is not appropriate for this age group”. Yet, once again, the Cherry Creek School District makes the obvious bad choice in favor of inappropriate material to children.

As Huck Finn was oft heard to say, “I could see it warn’t no use in arguin”, so the parent left, with no disruption.

This is the face of the modern educator. A petty tyrant that has no interest in responding to questions asked by her employers….the tax payers that pay her salary.

 

Why Is No One Interested in the Whereabouts of John Kennedy?

Last August, the Cherry Creek School District was rocked by allegations that 2 District employees had been arrested and charged with the sexual assault of a minor. Following this, three Middle School Administrators were indicted for failing to report the abuse.

In one of the cases, the perpetrator, a man by the name of Brodderick Lundie, managed to have his name withheld from the District community for 4 months, presumably because of Superintendent Bull’s personal relationship with Lundie’s father.

Bad as that was, the 2nd episode of assault involved a Middle School teacher at Prairie Middle School who was charge with 31 counts of assault on a minor!

Following that, three Prairie School Administrators were indicted with failing to report the abuse of a minor.

Whether he will admit it or not, Harry Bull’s “retirement” announcement seems a direct result of these incidents and his failure to protect the children of this district. He will be gone and good riddance to him.

However, there is another high-level District administrator that has disappeared very quietly, like a puff of smoke in a breeze; John Kennedy.

Where is John Kennedy? There was no announcement regarding his separation from his job as the Executive Director of Middle Schools (remember, Prairie is a Middle school). There was no announcement of his retirement. There was no announcement of any reassignment. There was nothing but a unremarked and little noticed change of leadership in the Middle Schools from John Kennedy to Tracy Grant.

More curious yet is the glaring lack of interest anyone has in finding out what happened to Kennedy.

When you call the District to find out what has happened to Kennedy, you are told, variously, that he is “on leave”, that he “is on administrative leave”, that they don’t know where he is.

Communications to the district Communications Director, Abbe Smith, finally confirm that he is on leave due to “a personnel matter”.

Pressed, by a request under the Colorado Open Records Act, to clarify the nature and circumstances surrounding this “Administrative Leave”, Ms. Smith responds with spurious assertions of “attorney-client privilege”. Since John Kennedy is not represented, legally, by the district, there is no privilege to be claimed.

Further communications to Abbe Smith elicit the response that she misspoke and that John Kennedy is now being represented by his own attorney. Why? What does Mr. Kennedy need an attorney for?

A clue might be in a memo received by the District in response to a CORA request. This memo, dated last August, discusses the need for a replacement for John Kennedy at a regular meeting. The implication is, of course, that John Kennedy has been gone from the District since last August.

Let’s see? What happened last August that might have resulted in the placing of John Kennedy on Administrative leave?

Well, could it be the assault committed by the degenerate Brian Vasquez on the children of Prairie Middle School?

Could it be that these assaults triggered a series of events culminating in the indictments of Prairie Middle School administrators Dave Gonzales, Adrienne McIntosh, and Cheryl Somers?

It’s speculation, of course, as Kennedy’s removal might have nothing to with the sexual assaults on our children, or the failure to protect them, or the cover-up of the initial incident 5 years earlier.

This information has been supplied to metro news agencies. No apparent interest.

The District is stonewalling any further requests for the specifics around why John Kennedy is on Administrative Leave. They are required to provide this information but are blocking, delaying, and, frankly, bull-shitting around having to provide the basic information as to why John Kennedy is on Administrative Leave.

Why are local news organizations not pursuing this? Why is a shroud of secrecy being allowed to descend over this issue.

Harry Bull’s convenient announcement of his retirement, just hours before the Prairie Middle School indictments were announced, screams “cut and run”.

John Kennedy’s magical disappearance is worse. It is as if the man is a ghost; never worked for the District, don’t know who he is, or where he has gone.

Time to get the full story on why John Kennedy and the Cherry Creek School District have parted company. There has been enough secrecy in this District and, with Harry Bull gone, it is time to lift the shades and shine a light on what is happening. The community has a right to know.

 

Where Is John Kennedy?

In the wake of the Cherry Creek Sex Assault scandals, there have been some interesting developments.

In the hours before the indictments handed out to Prairie Middle School administrators David Gonzales (Principal of Prairie Middle School), Adrienne McIntosh (Vice Principal), and Chery Somers (Counsellor) for failing to report child abuse, the Cherry Creek Superintendent, Harry Bull, issued a letter to the district, announcing his retirement.

Obviously, any thinking person would be extremely skeptical regarding the timing of Mr. Bull’s announcement, as well they should be. What connection can Mr. Bull have to these events that might have pushed him into retirement? I mean, you just have to wonder, don’t you?

All I can say about this is, good riddance. The man is a disgrace. He has placed his own personal ambitions and agenda over the well-being of children.

Quietly, however, another senior administrator has slipped from the scene.

What has become of Executive Director of Middle School Education, John Kennedy?

John Kennedy (should I call him “Doctor” Kennedy?) was the point person when parents complained about explicit and violent pornography being made available in the Middle School (and other levels) EBSCO data bases.

John Kennedy (really, should I call him “Doctor” Kennedy?) not liking what he heard, threatened the parents and told them not to talk about the issue, or “something will happen that neither you, or I will like”.

John Kennedy is no longer in his position of Executive Director and, depending on who you ask, he has either been “terminated”, “let go”, “is on administrative leave”, or simply, “we don’t know where he is”.

John Kennedy was the point man during a substantial period of time when Brian Vasquez was assaulting the children in Prairie Middle School and during the ongoing cover-up of the initial assault on the 14 year old female student at Prairie Middle School 5 years ago, when the girl was forced to recant her accusation against her molester, Brian Vasquez.

John Kennedy is now gone and we do not lament his disappearance. We are, however, very interested in the circumstances of his disappearance. Why is John Kennedy gone? Where has John Kennedy gone? What are the circumstances around his going?

We have sent CORA requests to Abbe Smith, the Communications Director for the District and have been stonewalled. Why would this be?

Our Schools and EBSCO: The Sexual Grooming of Our Children

Recently, our Cherry Creek School District has been rocked by the sexual assaults by teachers on children and the cover-up of these assaults.

Just a few days ago, the Killip Elementary School in Flagstaff Arizona has experienced the same community trauma; A teacher accused of molesting 2 elementary school children.

Now, there are similarities between these 2 cases and the 2 school districts:

  1. The obvious, they both have experienced the sexual assault of a teacher on a child.
  2. Both provide teachers and children access to the EBSCO databases rife with pornography.
  3. The schools helpfully provide children with the warning and disclaimer that they are leaving the schools web site and. therefore, the school bears no responsibility for anything that might happen.

If you are new to this issue, just do a search on “EBSCO porn” and you will see that the EBSCO research databases provided to children in our schools is full of pornography and ads for sex toys.

It certainly seems that the Killip Elementary School and the Flagstaff School District are aware of this, otherwise why is there a need for the disclaimer?

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this site will require that you leave our FUSD School website and the FUSD server. The Flagstaff Unified School District has no responsibility for the content beyond this point. The Internet is a dynamic volatile place where pages can change suddenly and rapidly. It is not unusual to find information or images that are objectionable. Proceed at your own risk, it is always best to review sites with your child.

First, the concept of a minor child waving any of their rights, or understanding the implications of this “disclaimer” is laughable. Clearly, the district hopes that this will protect them if things go wrong but this hope is delusional.

Obviously, since these links are provided by the school, and no doubt promoted by the school as a place to get homework or other help, children will access these resources from their homes, by-passing any school filters.

Second, EBSCO (and other database resources provided to schools) is a proprietary database, and cannot be filtered by the school’s or library’s filters; it is just not possible.

Third, these databases are not “the internet”. They are closed, subscription only resources which are separate from “the internet” and only EBSCO can filter them.

Finally, while many pages will change, some will come and others go, the existence of pornography within these EBSCO resources has always existed. The point is, it is not any one page, either its existence, or non-existence, that is the issue; it is that pornography is fully and readily available to children within these EBSCO databases.

To illustrate, here is a sampling of the material available in the NoveListPlus product, supplied by EBSCO. Remember, this is being made available to Elementary School children!

  • From the Streets to the Sheets: Urban Erotic Quickies

  • Nasty Boys: Rough Trade Erotica

  • The Bad Seed

  • Unzipped

  • The Love Slave

Why in God’s name would anyone ever think this was appropriate material for an elementary school aged child; or any minor child, for that matter?

Whether intended or not, the availability of pornography to children has the effect of desensitizing children, as well as adults, to themes and images of sexual assault, violent assault, sad-masochism, bondage, sexual humiliation and other deviant forms of sexual relations. There is no credible pediatric therapist, psychiatrist, or physician that would think this is OK. Apparently, the Flagstaff Unified School District and Michele Reagan (Secretary of State and responsible for the AZ State Library) think it is just fine.

Does Michele Reagan really want her name and face, or the Arizona State Library, associated to purveyors of pornography?

Is it any surprise, then, having created a sexualized and distorted atmosphere around the adult/child relationship, that adults act on impulses that, for most people, would be abhorrent? The schools, with their partners at EBSCO, have created this environment and are responsible for the results we are all seeing with increasing frequency.

It is time for the schools and the state to take a stand and protect our children from the assaults of EBSCO and the vendors of the pornography and sex toys that fill its databases.

For more information, visit:

National Council on Sexual Exploitation

Mass Resistance