Tag Archives: Colorado

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.

 

Colorado leads the fight to get “EBSCO Porn” out of schools across America

EBSCO: Exploiting our children for profit

EBSCO is a 3 billion dollar corporation that boasts of providing K-12 research databases to over 50,000 schools nationwide. These databases contain some journal articles and newspaper stories but, in general, have been widely criticized as disjointed and random in their search results. The journal articles appear to be a loss leader for the true product: magazines and advertisements. Yes, schools all over the country are streaming advertising at K-12 kids. And a good deal of this advertisement is adult in content, very adult. There are hundreds of sexually graphic ads for “sex toy” shops, complete with links to the online shop venues. There are sexually graphic articles, images and even links to hard core pornography sites. This obscene material is streamed into K-12 school databases by EBSCO’s publishing clients and include adult “pop culture” magazines such as Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Lesbian News, Glamour, Chatelaine, Ebony, Esquire and other magazines and articles that have absolutely no business in a homework database, and believe me, these are not your supermarket, news rack versions.

What child, ever, used Cosmo as a homework resource?

Our group is networked across the country to expose this horrific problem, and we have thus far identified obscene EBSCO content in school linked databases from 15/15 states that we have been able to investigate, including Colorado, Florida, Connecticut, Nebraska, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Nevada, Georgia, Ohio, New Jersey, Minnesota, Kansas, West Virginia, and New Hampshire.

Marketed as a Scholarly Datbase But Links to Hard Core Porn Sites From “Academic Journals”

Members of our groups have recently taken a closer look at some of the academic journals contained in EBSCO’s Explora school databases. We have found live links to a myriad of hard core porn, and violent “BDSM” porn sites embedded into the “academic journals” streaming into EBSCO’s K-12 Explora Secondary School databases.

If that’s not bad enough,  EBSCO search results are disjointed, repetitive and random.  The Emperor truly has no clothes when it comes to EBSCO’s “school products”.

THE OBSCENE FACES OF ESBSCO SCHOOL DATABASES ACROSS THE NATION

 

 What are we teaching our children?

 Pornography has been shown to contain heavy themes of misogyny as well as the glamorization of sexual violence. Children exposed to pornography can be harmed – for more details, see the National Center on Sexual Exploitation which has named EBSCO to its 2017 Dirty Dozen list as a major contributor to the sexual exploitation of women and children (http://endsexualexploitation.org/ebsco/ ). As might be predicted in a country where 50,000 schools are streaming EBSCO porn at their students, the rate of student on student violence has reached alarming proportions  (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sexual-assault-fellow-students-17-000-reports-4-years-ap-n753106 ). Teacher/student sexual assaults have sky-rocketed. Do these predators use EBSCO as a classroom grooming tool? Do they send students to EBSCO, where they are bound to locate sexually graphic content because it is pushed to the top of the search results, perhaps in the hopes that children will become desensitized and accepting of sexual advances?  How else to explain these alarming trends? Every day there is another breaking news story about a teacher who has sexually assaulted a child in their care.

Colorado leads the fight against EBSCO

The prestigious Cherry Creek School District of Colorado recently contacted EBSCO and asked for the ground breaking, “Adams 12 Exclusion Package”. This removes a number of adult, graphic, pop culture magazines which are known to stream obscene content into children’s homework and research databases.

What a fight! It took more than a year. But every school district in the state of Colorado that we have looked at has been identified as infected with EBSCO porn. EBSCO is distributed across the state by the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC). EBSCO was introduced to Colorado through a collaborative venture between the CLiC and the CDE/State Library, although recent attempts to ask the CDE for help led to a scrambling restructure to remove CLiC from the state education umbrella. What are they hiding?

Coloradans can “thank” Gene Hainer of the CDE State Library, and Jim Duncan, Manager of the CLiC, for introducing the EBSCO atrocity to our state.

 The CLiC has advertised EBSCO databases to our K-12 institutions as a valuable and appropriate school resource while nothing could be further from the truth. When confronted with the reality, the CLiC denied any responsibility, callously claiming they “just sell” the products and ridiculously claim they bear no responsibility should their school customers misuse the products by allowing students to have access.

Every school district in Colorado was notified almost a year ago, and so was the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB), and the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), but it appears that, with the exception of Adams 12 and the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD), our leaders have just buried their heads in the sand.

Only two districts that we are aware of have responded and that would be Adams12 and the CCSD. Although they have not solved the problem, they have made a transitional gesture of removing many of the adult magazines that are the worst offenders for streaming obscene content. This is a valuable first step but the problem will not be solved until EBSCO subscriptions are canceled. EBSCO has shown itself to be a thoroughly corrupt corporation that appears to be knowingly, and with full deliberation, exploiting millions of school children nationwide for profit. They can never be trusted and they will always find new and creative means of pushing lucrative advertising for the 95 billion dollar sex industry into our schools, targeting a captive audience of children and minor youth as potential new consumers. We have even located articles that encourage young girls to enter the escort and sex work industry. No, EBSCO can never be trusted again.

There truly is no depth too low for EBSCO to sink in its gluttonous pursuit of profit. The EBSCO name has been sullied beyond repair.

Bryson Stephens, grandson of Founder, Elton Stephens and, apparently, a respected member of his community in Birmingham, the headquarters of EBSCO Industries.

Every concerned parent and taxpayer should contact EBSCO 1 (800) 653-2726 to express their outrage and should also contact their local School District to demand that EBSCO subscriptions be canceled. Don’t let them tell you that they “filter” EBSCO – this is a lie. The Cherry Creek School District tried it with us, and they are on record issuing this misinformation to concerned parents, teachers and reporters who called with concerns. But the truth is out: EBSCO database products are proprietary and cannot be touched by external or top site filters.

If they could have filtered the obscene material, Adams 12 and the Cherry Creek School District would not have created an Exclusion Package. The fact that EBSCO cannot be filtered has been confirmed by A12, the CCSD, the Arapahoe Library District, and EBSCO upper management in private communications. EBSCO even publicly admitted to having “problems” with its school databases in an interview with WBRC Birmingham (http://www.wbrc.com/story/35775174/could-your-kids-find-pornographic-articles-on-school-computers ) and they promised to be working on internal filtering, which we have yet to see. In fact, our most recent information is that EBSCO is planning to dump even more responsibility onto their school customers by asking them to manually, “cherry pick” objectionable articles from K-12 products. Does EBSCO think that more taxpayer money should be squandered to hire a full time cherry-picker to stay on top of the porn streaming into its K-12 databases?

When we spoke with EBSCO management, we were told that the content of the K-12 databases was protected by contractual arrangement with their publishing clients. EBSCO values its publishing clients far more than they value their school customers. These “non-censorship” contracts, that permit streaming of porn and sex toy ads, must be very lucrative to EBSCO. After more than a year of nationwide pressure, and even being named to the Dirty Dozen list, EBSCO adamantly refuses to filter its K-12 products. EBSCO is dedicated to the protection of its publishers and advertisers and appears firmly committed to granting them free ranging, unfettered access to a captive audience that ranges into the hundreds of millions of school children across the U.S., Canada, and other countries.

What’s in it for the schools? 

Maybe the million dollar question is this: Why would our schools want to be complicit in EBSCO’s advertising of porn to kids? In Colorado, schools were notified a year ago, and only 2 that we know of have responded, even partially. Are they ashamed to admit there’s a problem? Afraid of legal liability if children have been harmed by exposure to porn through school databases? Are they getting kickbacks? All of the above?

Surely, EBSCO is generous with compensation to its school and library customers. EBSCO hands out grants, incentives, money for trips and awards. Some libraries even receive the $100,000 “solar grant” award each year. EBSCO is linked with the ALA and this country is now waking up to the fact that our “library community” has morphed into something that most adults wouldn’t recognize anymore. In fact, the Director of Intellectual Freedom, Jamie LaRue, was quoted as stating he would be “happy to go pick up [the Dirty Dozen] award” from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2017/07/EBSCO_online_databases_filter_inappropriate_material.html ). He likes EBSCO. 

The pressure is mounting

With Colorado beginning to backpedal, now is the time for other states around the country to take a stand. We have confirmed EBSCO porn in 15/ 15 states that we have investigated and we have good reason to believe that it is present in every state across the country. Parents need to understand that the problem is not limited to public schools. We have found EBSCO Porn in private and parochial schools, and homeschooled children do not avoid the assault if they are using public libraries, which peddle EBSCO as “homework” databases, often driving traffic to them with promotions and ads that target minors.

The Arapahoe Library District of Colorado was featured by Mass Resistance (http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen3/17a/CO-middle-school-x-rated/ebsco-database.html  and http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen3/17d/MR-CO-confronting-porn-agenda/index.html ) twice during this past year. In Colorado, we are beginning to also turn our attention to several other public libraries in the hopes that we can convince them to clean up or, better yet, cancel their EBSCO sponsorships.

There can be no justification for the egregious assault on the health and safety of our children by EBSCO. Schools and libraries should take the high ground and get rid of EBSCO lest they become morally and legally complicit.

It’s been a struggle but the momentum is building. We will not back down and we encourage others across the country to get involved.