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Colorado Parents Expose Pornography in School’s Sex-Ed Program

When parents send their kids to school each day, they likely don’t suspect their children may be exposed to pornography in the classroom. Unfortunately, for the past two years, parents in Colorado have faced this harsh reality.

During this time, a group of parents and citizens, with recent help from the Thomas More Society, have been fighting a battle against the Cherry Creek School District located in the Denver area. Parents’ complaints stemmed from the school district’s use of products provided by EBSCO, a company known for inserting pornography in its databases marketed for school children across the country.

Parents asked the school district to either force EBSCO to change its database for students, or cancel its contract with this seemingly disreputable company. On September 7, 2018, parents claimed victory when the school district acknowledged it had stopped buying or utilizing any products for kids with EBSCO. The much maligned company provides online research databases to more than 55,000 elementary, middle, and high schools all over the United States. EBSCO specifically markets its products for students as being reliable and age-appropriate. Unfortunately, the databases appear to be the exact opposite of kid-friendly.

In September of 2016, parents of students in Aurora, Colorado found out the EBSCO databases consisted of mind-boggling amounts of hard-core pornography that could easily be accessed. Alarmingly, they also learned the problematic databases caused private, parent-supplied and school internet filters to be inoperable. Because of the things contained in the EBSCO databases, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation included the company on its “Dirty Dozen List” of the worst 12 corporations in the United States for perpetuating sexual exploitation in 2017 and 2018.

Dr. Robin Paterson and her husband Drew were extremely involved in the effort to remove the use of EBSCO databases from the Cherry Creek School District. Regarding the recent victory, she said, “We are just happy the school district finally is doing the right thing. It’s taken two years. But better late than never.”

Dr. Paterson was asked whether she believed the school district’s action was a result of parental pressure. In response to the inquiry, she remarked, “There’s no way of knowing for sure. Cherry Creek School District has been so combative with parents about this, we wouldn’t be surprised if they deny that parents were the cause of this decision.”

Dr. Paterson went on to add, “What we know for sure is that the school district was not looking at this until we started pressuring them – going on for more than two years now. Without parental pressure, it’s highly unlikely Cherry Creek would have discontinued buying EBSCO products. So we look at this as a victory for parents’ rights.”

“We had a child on one of the Cherry Creek Middle Schools and we found large volumes of pornographic material. There was some horrific images and text,” Dr. Paterson added, “The EBSCO databases are not the internet. They’re a curated digital collection, a proprietary collection put together by EBSCO There shouldn’t be any obscene or pornographic material in there whatsoever.”

The Patersons revealed the problem with EBSCO was the advertisements it sold. Dr. Paterson told KUSA-TV, “Companies should never be allowed to come in and advertise for the sex industry in our schools.” Drew Paterson disclosed that the offensive material in the EBSCO databases didn’t merely consist of naked pictures. Shockingly, he provided, “There are solicitations for children to sign up for escort services.”

Due to the long battle with the Cherry Creek School District, the concerned parents group had retained the Thomas More Society to represent it. At the time the school district announced it would no longer use EBSCO products in classrooms, the Society already had a prepared lawsuit that was ready to file.

Matt Heffron, Senior Counsel for the Thomas More Society, stated, “We don’t know if Cherry Creek had any information about the lawsuit being prepared. But we weren’t being very secretive about it. There were many people who were aware it was in the works.”

Concerning its decision to severe ties with EBSCO, the Cherry Creek School District said in a statement, “This is a one-year decision and will be reviewed again in the future to determine which databases will best serve our students.”

~ 1776 Christian


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