September 17, 2018

Colorado School District Discontinues Contract with EBSCO for providing sexually explicit material in K-12 school databases

Last Friday, the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado acknowledged it has discontinued the purchase and further use of any products from EBSCO Information Services, an online library resource used in schools across the United States.

EBSCO Information Services, named on the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s 2017 and 2018 Dirty Dozen list, reaches over 55,000 elementary, middle, and high schools. While EBSCO claims “curriculum-appropriate content” on their products, many of the databases available in K-12 school settings have unfiltered access to sexually explicit content. Content in Ebsco K-12 databases included links to hardcore pornography, and other graphic materials such as articles glamorizing pornography, prostitution, and risky sexual behaviors. Because of EBSCO’s unique system, these materials are not blocked by school or parent filters, making these school-age children easy targets for sexual exploitation.

While EBSCO has worked with NCOSE and has made improvements to their K-12 productsback to school parent electronic since being named to the NCOSE Dirty Dozen lists, parents across the country still are fighting for clean, safe databases for their children at school. This current victory in Colorado took over two years to come to fruition, with parents in the area requesting change since September 2016. While the school district has not said whether they discontinued EBSCO products because of the ongoing parental pressure, many Cherry Creek parents are certain the district was not aware of the problem until they began to call for change, emphasizing the power of parent involvement in issues such as these.

Despite this positive improvement for the Cherry Creek School District, EBSCO continues to be supplied in schools across Colorado, as well as in thousands of public and private schools across the United States and Canada. Furthermore, EBSCO products marketed and available to schools still provide easy access to sexually explicit material in the very place where kids are assigned to learn and complete assignments.

More information can be found on our EBSCO page. (https://endsexualexploitation.org/ebsco/).

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Sommer Porter

Intern

Sommer Porter is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University, earning her
bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in International Development. She is
passionate about solving important world issues such as sexual exploitation through
non-profit work and advocacy. She has worked with several non-profits, including
spending three months conducting a program evaluation for an organization based
in Bulgaria. She now works as an advocacy intern at the National Center on Sexual
Exploitation and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the future.

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