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”:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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?
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
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
(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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last month, in the days approaching Thanksgiving, the parents of Ashawnty Davis had little to be thankful for. Instead, an absolute tragedy engulfed their lives and their family would never be the same; not ever again.
Ashawnty, 10 years old, TEN YEARS OLD, killed herself; committed suicide; ended her life.
I look at the pictures of this beautiful little girl and her joyous smile and it breaks my heart. It should break the heart of any parent.
How did this happen?
The suicide rate among school children has sky rocketed in Colorado and we have to ask ourselves why, before we can ever hope to implement any effective policy.
In medicine, all physicians are taught, “First, do no harm”. This concept needs to be embraced by our schools and by education companies selling new products and gimmicks into our schools, with little regard for the effect it might have on students.
Our schools are bloated with every form of Health and Wellness programming being given to our kids; the so-called Signs of Suicide training for children (SOS); Depression screens and surveys; access to the odious Trevor Project, with it’s enticements into private chat rooms and suicide discussions; schools that provide access to the revolting book 13 Reasons Why. This book, with it discussions of why suicide might be an option and why, through suicide, a child’s status might even be elevated in the community, should never be on a school library bookshelf.
This cheer squad for suicide is listed as being in the library catalog of this little girl’s school (Sunrise Elementary School). I’m not a big fan of censorship but placing this book into an elementary school, where this child attended, might be one of the worst librarian decisions ever encountered. What is wrong with the librarian at this school? This isn’t a book for elementary school children and all of your ALA mindless drivel about the 1st Amendment and censorship doesn’t change that fact. I certainly see that where there is any criticism posted regarding how a library is being run, it disappears after a day. So stop being such hypocrites! You’re all for censorship, as long as you are the censors.
Librarians have been given far too much authority in the present climate. High level administrators bow down to the so called Library Leadership Teams… these are librarians… who are making dangerous decisions without any questioning or oversight.
Suicide in children was, at one time, very rare. Why would a child of 10 even think of suicide? Where did the idea come from? This is a concept that used to live almost exclusively in the tormented minds of adults. How did it ever become a consideration and an option for children?
Over the past 20 years, as our children have progressed through the Cherry Creek School District, we have seen an increasing focus (read spending), generated by school districts and education charlatans selling emotional poison, on programs to address bullying, on gauging the Health and Wellness of our children, on preventing suicide. At what point does the cure pose more risk than the disease, if ever a cure was really needed?
The school district has poured buckets of money at this problem and wasted thousands of hours of instructional time with, as is obvious, little effect on the problem. The Colorado Department of Education now proposes squandering even more taxpayer dollars on programs that are just not producing any results. If you’re not aiming at the target, you can’t hit it. What is it Einstein is quoted as saying? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result”.
Somebody is benefiting from all of this and it is not our children.
My guess, anecdotally, is that the rise of child and teen suicide directly tracks the increasing introduction of these topics and programs into our schools. My further guess is that as these programs reached further down, into lower-aged school children, the incidence of self-harm and suicide increased in these populations, as well.
Will anyone do a study on this? I’m thinking no; it’d be bad for business.
Parents, you can take action; it will take a thick skin and a demanding demeanor to get to it but it will be worth the effort, for the safety of your children.
Health and Wellness surveys- They are full of questions on whether your child has ever been “sad”. Well, who hasn’t? But these questions are closely followed by questions on:
a) Have you been sad more than 2 times a week?
b) Have you ever harmed yourself?
c) How have you harmed yourself?
d) Have you ever engaged in cutting?
e) Have you ever played the choking game?
f) Have you ever considered suicide?
Is it just me, or do these questions look more like suggestions, balloons leading directly to Pennywise and a children’s house of horrors?
Parents- in writing, tell your school and district that these surveys are NOT to be given to your children. EVER!
2. The Trevor Project- This repugnant site is touted by many schools as a “safe” place for children, especially if they are anxious or depressed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here, children are enticed into private chat rooms with unqualified “counselors”, who appear to be nothing more than other tormented souls, where these “counselors” engage your child in discussions of suicide, gender dysphoria, self harm and other issues they are not competent to discuss.
Adults are able to engage with your child, in private chat rooms, to “counsel” them. It has all the earmarks of a pedophile’s playground but, since parents cannot enter, no one knows for certain what, exactly, is occurring with the minor children that engage with the adults.
Parents- Ask your Principal if children in the school are being referred to the Trevor Project as a “resource” available to them. In writing, demand that this stop and that the Trevor Project be removed from all school and district material.
3. Signs of Suicide training- This is directed at your child, teaching them all the nuances of suicide contemplation. If your child had never contemplated having a choice in the matter before, he or she will certainly understand that choice after this training.
Importantly, this type of program is a blanket, one-size-fits-all, program, it does not focus on truly “at risk” children, it treats all children as being at risk and this is surely not the case.
Parents- In writing, tell your Principal and District that your child is not to participate in these types of programs. EVER! You are far better of engaging your own therapist for this. At least you can get references and see them for yourselves.
4. So-called Anti-bullying programs- Steer clear of these. You would be forgiven for thinking that, with the term “anti-bullying” in it, the program was focused on the bully. It is not. Entire student bodies are made to sit through hundreds of hours of “training” and social indoctrination. It isn’t about bullying at all, and that’s why it doesn’t work. It’s about social re-engineering for the special interest groups that fund it.
As far as bullying policies, our schools are only focused on the victim, not the bully. If your child is bullied, they will be made to feel responsible for coping, and taught “strategies” for dealing with ongoing bullying. These programs more or less ignore the bully, leaving the bully to walk free. They are seldom disciplined.
Again, millions spent on the wrong target.
We fall all over ourselves crying, “don’t blame the victim”, then put our kids in a position where they feel the responsibility for ending the bullying themselves. Some schools even insist that the victims receive counseling while the bully walks free, or force the victim into “mediation” sessions with the bully, even though experts recognize such techniques as disastrous, in terms of further empowering bullies. Victims are told not to defend themselves, told to walk away, or run away and “ask for help” – ask for help from incompetent bureaucrats that refuse to discipline bullies because it would require state and federal paperwork to be filed.
We are the adults, and we need to take the action, not the children. The school culture abandons them to the bully and hides behind all the empowering words and rhetoric, such as “bully proofing” them with platitudes. The kids, however, know that the minute they leave the counselor’s office, they are gonna get the shit kicked out of them….again.
Want to generate a a cloud of despondency over a child? Make them feel helpless, make them feel there is no end to the torment, make them feel that they have been abandoned by the very people they look to for help. This is the way to do it. Does this sound familiar? Does this sound like the burden young Ashawnty might have been laboring under?
We need to show the victims and the bullies that a properly functioning anti-bullying program, rather than empowering the bully, deals swiftly and harshly with the bully and gives the bully a quick hall-pass out the door, never to return. You really don’t need an anti-bullying program to line a salesman’s pockets, or increase corporate profits if you’ve rid yourselves of the bullies. Let their parents deal with them. We’re tired of it.
Parents- Demand that these programs stop and that your children be protected from the predators among them in the schools. Demand that the school deal with the bullies and leave the victims alone. File lawsuits if your children are harmed; against the parent’s of the bully, as well as the school district. It is time to take a stand and demand an end to this.
School anti-bullying programs don’t work because they focus on the victim. The bullies walk free. We don’t have a bullying problem – we have enforcement problem.
We know of girls in our kids classes who have been verbally abused and threatened by boys, backing them up against walls and making crude suggestions to them, all year long. We know of other kids who have been hit and had their property destroyed on a regular basis, while their complaints to the school were ignored, other than to be offered ” victim counseling”. They didn’t need counselling, the little thugs tormenting them needed to be gone!
The net result of all of this misguided, feel good, accomplish little programming is:
We create kids that view the world as a place of danger; where they have been abandoned by adults and are victims to whatever evil little turd wants to molest them.
We place them in programs and give them surveys with a heavy emphasis on self-harm and suicide, inoculating them with the idea that there is a way out.
We then wring our hands and weep to the heavens, asking why the incidence of suicide is rocketing upward?
Oh why, we ask ?
Now, while all of the foregoing is bad, it gets worse.
Having created an atmosphere of hopelessness in our kids, a feeling that they have been abandoned by those tasked to protect them, it’s seems the damage is not enough. We have to legislate official and legal abandonment.
In the past Colorado legislative session, a number of bills (in one form or another) were introduced to separate your children from you and place them in confidential “chat rooms” with “counselors” who can, and will, discuss all sorts of topics with your child, all under the screen of confidentiality.
An attempt last session, by Democratic lawmakers, would have resulted in your child meeting with a stranger, discussing topics you might not want your child discussing with a stranger, and you would have no control over it, would not know about it, could not vet the qualifications or the ideology of the counselor; you would have absolutely no knowledge of it unless your child chose to tell you about it. And you thought Big Brother existed only only a book.
And how might these counselors be housed? Where might their offices be? Who might be providing these counselling services? Well, it might be in the conveniently located, new “School Based Health Clinics (SBHC)” springing up in our schools, owned and operated by none other than Larry Wolk, Head of the Colorado Department of Public Health. And, pray tell, what is Dr. Wolk’s position in the Colorado Dept of Health? Why he is the Director. And who will dish out the money for the funding of these School Based Clinics? Surprise, it is none other than the very same Department of Health where Larry Wolk is the Director. Is it me? Does anyone else see a conflict of interest here?
In addition, as if this isn’t bad enough as it is, these clinics are entitled to go into classrooms and provide “depression screening” for all children who will then be sent to the school clinic for counseling, behind parents’ backs if Dem lawmakers have their way in this upcoming legislative session.
Again, I’m sure it is just me, but my guess is that 90% of all the kids will need some form of “counselling” in the helpful and convenient Larry Wolk provided clinics. If you have medical insurance, your insurance will pay for it. If not, then it will be billed, with gleeful abandon, to Medicaid.
And in case you’re not sure: the Colorado Department of Public Health links to materials from its website aimed at teaching staff how to deal with resistance from the public. Look it up, it’s all there.
However, I would not be so completely cynical as to suggest that there is a conspiracy in all of this. That all of it, the programs, the suicide training, the anti-bullying programs, the proposed legislation, the clinics, Larry Wolk, the Department of Health….all of it… is just a scheme for vendors and special interests to profit from the misery of our children. Pennywise, after all, is a fictional character in a movie. Right?
Tell that to the parents of Ashawnty Davis. They just thought they were sending their little girl to school.
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.
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.