What you are about to read is extremely disturbing.
High schools, middle schools, and libraries across the US and abroad make hardcore pornography – both heterosexual and homosexual – available to children by contracting with large “information” database companies. Children get the access directly through the schools’ and libraries’ web portals.
These databases also include educational materials on a range of legitimate topics, which are most prominently placed on the websites. But as we have recently documented, just a few clicks away in the same general area lurks a large amount of hardcore pornography – more graphic and explicit than most adults have ever seen.
These companies acknowledge that the pornography is in the packages sold to schools and libraries, but they say that the school officials are fully aware of it. And school officials in Colorado (with whom parents spoke) also acknowledged that the pornography was there and became hostile when pressed to remove it.
Besides the pornography, other material in these databases is invariably, across the board, written and presented in a strongly left-wing perspective. That worldview seems to serve as a segue into the acceptance and inclusion of the range of pornographic subjects.
The EBSCO database: the “information” service with pornography
The EBSCO database is a major “information” service for schools and libraries across the US and abroad. Its corporate headquarters is in Ipswich, MA. There are also other similar services, such as ProQuest and Gale.
These database services generally incorporate a number of sub-databases. EBSCO includes Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Science Reference Center, Novelist, Consumer Health Complete, ABC-CLIO, Explora, and others. We have found that most of these sub-databases include varied amounts of terrible pornography.
In September 2016, parents in suburban Denver, CO, discovered the EBSCO database and its accompanying hardcore pornography in the web portal of their childrens’ middle school, Fox Ridge Middle School, which is part of the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD).
|We’re all fortunate this group of brave parents in Colorado is willing to take on this horrible battle.|
Shockingly, when they brought this before the school officials, the officials refused to do anything about it! Instead, the parents were ignored, stonewalled, and even threatened.
A mother confronts EBSCO about the pornography
In October 2016, after a month of battling with the Cherry Creek school officials over removing the pornography in the school’s EBSCO database and getting nowhere, the mother contacted EBSCO directly.
She emailed the company a description of the pornography problem in several EBSCO databases in her child’s middle school, some screen shots, and asked them, “Please remove the links to pornography from the product that you have provided our schools.”
After some back and forth, on Oct. 24, 2016, she got this rather nonchalant response from one of their staff:
Thank you for reaching out to us. We are currently in touch with your school district and are looking into possible solutions with our development team.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of further assistance.
All the best,
Documentation and Training Specialist
They recognized the problem, but didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to solve it.
Dishonest response from EBSCO’s CEO
So a few days later, on Oct. 26, the mother contacted the CEO of EBSCO, Tim Collins, asking him to intervene about the “Pornographic links embedded in middle school products.”
She got a fairly quick email reply. He admitted that pornography exists in two of their sub-database products, and said that they had already begun fixing the problem. But he did not address the extensive pornography in the other EBSCO products.
From: Tim Collins [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 3:03 PM
Subject: EBSCO Databases
Thank you for your email expressing concern about certain content on EBSCO databases being used by the Cherry Creek School District.
We have looked into this matter and determined that certain articles to which you refer came from Men’s Health and Women’s Healthpublications. We appreciate your concern that such articles are not appropriate for middle school students and have removed the articles at issue from all products in this school district.
We are also working to remove the content you identify from the Novelist product. We have put in motion plans that should result in this content being completely removed from Novelist by November 15th.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Again, thank you for contacting us.
Tim Collins, CEO
But as far as the mother could tell, none of those changes were made. On Nov. 15, the same pornography was still in all three of the EBSCO products that Collins mentioned.
An EBSCO employee admits the truth
So on Nov. 17, the mother telephoned EBSCO and talked with a member of their support staff. The conversation was very enlightening. It appears that the CEO had not been truthful. EBSCO does not modify or filter their products. Here is her report of the conversation:
I spoke with Jason Jeitler, Senior Technical Support Manager at EBSCO for about an hour. He said he was “working with” Cherry Creek’s Chief Information Officer Jason Koenig and the CCSD Media Specialist, Denise Wendl.
Jason Jeitler acknowledged the problem and said he was aware of the obscene and pornographic content of the school databases they sell.
But he told us that EBSCO has no ability to filter their school products for pornography. Instead, he said, the Cherry Creek School District might be able to filter “certain word strings” at their end. (But Jason Koenig of Cherry Creek has denied being able to filter the EBSCO product.)
Jeitler also told us that EBSCO produces a separate cleaned up version of their Novelist product called “Novelist K-8.” But CCSD had chosen not to purchase that for their middle school. Instead, CCSD chose to use the adult version which categorically includes an Adult Erotica section. It’s being used in CCSD middle and high schools, and we see this product in other school districts as well.
Later, CCSD did replace the “Novelist” with “Novelist K-8” in our child’s middle school portals. Although it is not as bad as the full version, it still contains inappropriate material for middle schoolers, such as the homosexual novel “POZ” (about living with HIV) as well as providing links to video pornography under the guise of “safe sex education”.
In addition, I discussed with Mr. Jeitler other EBSCO products in our middle school which also contain pornography.
Thus both the EBSCO and the Cherry Creek School District have acknowledged that they know about the pornography.
EBSCO says “some changes” were made to one of their products
On Jan 10, the mother was notified by an EBSCO employee that changes had been made to one of the products – the Novelist collection of books and stories for children and teenagers. But like their other promises it wasn’t really true. They had simply moved things around. As the mother reported;
I spoke to Stratton Lloyd of EBSCO. He informed me that “some changes” had been made to the Novelist product. He expressed frustration that EBSCO had acted outside normal policy by making changes to one of its products. He refused to elaborate and more or less hung up on me. He told me to talk to my school.
Upon examination, the changes that EBSCO made to Novelistinvolved restructuring the Adult Erotica category – the books are still available and attached to links that lead children to text previews – which contain pornographic text. An ESBCO writer also added an Introduction to the topic of BDSM, which includes direct links to sadomasochistic erotica and other pornographic books with readable text.
The next day I wrote again to Tim Collins, EBSCO’s CEO, with questions and concerns about the continued presence of pornography in their school products, but he has not responded.
Since then nothing much has changed. Although EBSCO advertises Novelist as a collection of stories for children, it still includes the unbelievable pornography.
But here’s what’s inside …
EBSCO cited by National Center on Sexual Exploitation
On Feb. 22, 2017, after MassResistance’s reports of the Cherry Creek pornography issue had gained attention among childrens’ advocates across the country, EBSCO was named one of America’s “12 Leading Facilitators of Sexual Exploitation” by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). This reflects how serious it is.
EBSCO immediately contacted NCOSE to try to mitigate the situation. The next day NCOSE’s database included the following statement:
EBSCO executives contacted NCOSE last night and have shared that they are concerned about the explicit and pornographic content accessible via their database and that they are actively working to develop new algorithms and better filtering systems.
But as we saw above, EBSCO’s support manager said they are unable to filter any of their content for pornography. So this would appear to be just more of EBSCO’s deception. However, that dodges the true issue. The real question is: Why does EBSCO include graphic hardcore pornography in any database at all? What purpose does it serve?
The middleman: Colorado Library Consortium – reselling porn to the schools
In Colorado, it is particularly insidious because the Colorado Library Consortium (CliC) is the statewide sales agent for EBSCO, and contracts the database to the local schools and public libraries. CLiC acknowledges the pornographic content, but claims that the schools need to make their own decisions when ordering.
On Nov. 18, the Colorado mother called EBSCO to discuss the company’s business relationship with the Colorado Library Consortium.
Here’s her report of that conversation:
I spoke to Phillip Gallant, EBSCO Sales Representative and direct contact through the Colorado Library Consortium. He said that EBSCO sells a bulk product to the Colorado Library Consortium which then resells it to schools.
He told me that EBSCO is fully aware of the pornography problem with its school products.
The only filtering EBSCO performs is on “lexile”, a simplistic measure of grade-appropriate vocabulary level. Mr. Gallant told me that he was aware that their products used by certain elementary schools would have pornographic content because the lexile of the pornographic articles was low enough to be retained for elementary schools.
He told me that EBSCO maintains basically non-censorship contracts with their information suppliers. Whatever is included in EBSCO’s databases must be retained without alteration. The content is sorted by lexile and distributed into school products which are sold all across the country (and internationally).
Next, on Nov. 21, she called the Colorado Library Consortium directly. She got a runaround similar to what she got from local school officials:
I spoke with Jim Duncan, Manager of the Colorado Library Consortium which brokers EBSCO products to schools and also services them. Jim Duncan professed to be unaware of the pornography in the products he sells but when I walked him through some examples over the phone, he acknowledged the problem and said that he would call the VP of EBSCO to see what could be done. He said he would call me back but never has.
On Jan. 10, 2017, the mother posted a warning to other parents on the Colorado Library Consortium (CliC) Facebook page. Her post included:
The Colorado Library Consortium sells and services online resource products to our Colorado public schools. These products contain sexually explicit material that most parents and most mental health clinicians would consider harmful to children. The manager has been contacted and did not deny that this was true. Many of the products sold to schools, such as EBSCO products, are protected by “non-censorship contracts” at their source – this allows obscene and pornographic material to stream into school products.
The CLiC staff did not delete the mother’s post, but on Jan. 26 posted a reply. They basically are passing the buck to the schools buying from them. But do they warn the schools what’s in the databases?
Public libraries, schools and academic libraries routinely ask CLiC to negotiate cost-saving discounts on their behalf, including subscriptions to web-based educational and research products from vendors and publishers. These are local decisions, made by each public library, school or academic institution, to choose products for delivery to their own communities. CLiC respects those local decisions.
EBSCO pornography in the local library – in the children’s section!
It’s also in the town’s local library, where parents have been able to easily access the database’s pornographic materials from the computers in the children’s section.
As the mother told us a few days ago:
Last night I checked out the childrens’ section of our local public library, Smoky Hill Public Library in Aurora, CO, I signed into their EBSCO database with my daughter’s private password and located the porn, and it began streaming into her student portal while I was sitting in the little kid’s section of the library – which is supposed to have filters. It was all there.
EBSCO is in schools & libraries across the country — and beyond
Over the last few months the Colorado parents have discovered the EBSCO database and its accompanying hardcore pornography in schools in Florida, Massachusetts, Canada, Eastern Europe, and South America. Some of the pornography they’ve found at these other schools is even more graphic and explicit than what they encountered in their local Colorado schools. And since it’s also in their local public library, it’s likely in many other libraries.
Parents at those schools clearly have no idea that the school officials are doing this. We will continue to expose this horror in other school systems.
EBSCO a major supporter of “the LGBT community”
A closer look at EBSCO reveals that its inclusion of offensive material in its children’s databases is not an accident.
On EBSCO’s website, the company brags about its advocacy of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism as a “civil right.”
EBSCO supports the LGBT community in a number of ways. It is a proud sponsor of the North Shore Pride Parade and Festival in Massachusetts, and it offers customers a comprehensive repository of current literature on LGBT studies through the LGBT Life with Full Text™ database. The database includes difficult-to-find, historically significant publications such as the Advocate, Journal of Homosexuality, Out, Journal of Lesbian Studies, Ladder, as well as International Journal of Transgenderism, and Transgender Tapestry.
EBSCO seems intent on introducing young people to graphic materials about homosexuality. It describes its LGBT Life with Full Text database as “The Essential Resource for LGBT Literature.”
Not surprisingly, some of the adults behind this appear to be motivated activists. Parents found that several of the EBSCO employees have personal Facebook pages that are adorned with “gay” rainbows and other LGBT decorations.
OVERALL: A mind-numbing experience for these parents
It’s hard to come to grips with the mind-numbing experience of dealing with this situation.
Encountering the pornography is bad enough. It is truly revolting, and clearly psychologically destructive to any young person.
But probably even more jarring is the nonchalant, uncaring, and even hostile attitude of all the adults involved – the school officials, EBSCO employees, the Colorado Library Consortium, and others. These people simply don’t care about what happens to these children. Or worse, maybe they think pornography is a “positive” thing, and their goal is to encourage unrestrained sexuality among youth.
This evil attitude towards children and their parents is a major part of what this fight is about. We will continue to help parents confront it.
Via Mass Resistance | http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen3/17a/CO-middle-school-x-rated/ebsco-database.html
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