As if it couldn’t get any worse, another data base resource used by the schools, GALE, has links to an escort site called Zaragosa. Here, children are bedazzled with stories by escorts about how fun and lucrative a job as an escort can be.
Stay in luxury hotels, meet rich men, stay on their yachts, live the life of leisure. And kids, you can apply right there on the site.
This atrocity was brought to the attention of the Cherry Creek School Board in the April meeting, yet nothing has been done to remove GALE. Is GALE a good corporate citizen? Is GALE really providing any educational value to school kids, I doubt it.
This month, the Cherry Creek School Board sent out a self-serving newsletter defending the use if these types of data bases.
This document is so full of conflicting statements, faulty logic, rationalization, and self-justification that it would take PAGES for me to fully discuss them. Let’s just look to the highlights.
I will paraphrase
1. STATEMENT- The internet is full of bias but EBSCO and other databases are not.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In a recent test we performed on Gale, around the issue of Sex Education, there were 15 articles in favor of radical Planned Parenthood based Comprehensive Sex Ed and 5 abstinence based articles. Of the 5 abstinence articles, 4 of the links were disabled, only one active. Of the 15 for CSE, all 15 links were operative.
We found similar patterns of censorship elsewhere in Gale and the other databases. So, I guess your view of objectivity and censorship depends only on your version of the truth. How egalitarian.
2. STATEMENT- The data bases are vetted.
Since Jim Duncan of CliC and Tim Collins, CEO Of EBSCO, both admit that EBSCO contains pornography and, according to EBSCO, it is problematic, how well could these data bases have been vetted?
You either fully vetted these products, missing the fact that huge volumes of pornography will be available to children, in which case it was an incompetent job. Or, you fully vetted these products, knew the pornography was there, and decided to put it in front of our children anyway.
Pick your poison.
3. STATEMENT- Denise Wendl states that the products are “grade level appropriate”.
Unless you are saying that pornography is age appropriate for kids as young as elementary school, then this statement is just out of touch with the reality.
In a discussion with an EBSCO executive, we were told that ‘the only segmentation by grade level is on lexile and (as the executive then went on to facetiously state) porn does not contain a lot of big words, so it is quite possible that some of this is in our elementary school products’.
In addition, why would a search on Human Biology filtered for a lexile of Gr 7/8 return Orgasms for All? Is this something that we should be presenting 12 and 13 year olds?
4. STATEMENT- “Some of the respect for the content has to come from teaching students and parents that things are going to show up once in a while. But they’re going to show up on the general web, even more so”.
Let me make the very simple and somewhat obvious observation that objectionable material cannot just “show up” if it is not in the content. It will not just “show up” if you purchase products that do not contain objectionable material.
The fact is, and remains, that these data base resources are full of pornography and rather than deal responsibly with the issue, the Cherry Creek School Board is fully content to continue to expose children to the real risk of encountering disturbing depictions and images.
The board is content to continue to do business with EBSCO, a company that has been added to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Dirty Dozen list as a major contributor to the sexual exploitation of women and children.
It is long past the time for the district to do the right thing, sever all ties with any company that provides pornography to children,