Kyrene Schools Offer Porn Through On-Line Data Base

Recently it has come to light that Kyrene School District, located in the East Valley of Maricopa County, was carrying the book “It’s Perfectly Normal” in two of its school libraries. Parents contacted the district and were told it was removed. However, students’ access to porn continues in the district.

Most school districts across the United States are leasing online data bases from corporations which aggregate information to be used by students. It sounds great but the devil is in the details. Through Kyrene’s district website, students and teachers can link to DAZL (Digital Arizona Library), which brokers data bases and puts them all together so they can offer them to school districts. This is a win-win for school districts because the footwork is done for them and they gain access to on-line educational materials.

Here is a link to Kyrene’s page which links to DAZL. The screenshot is inserted below for safe keeping.

When a student clicks on DAZL, Arizona’s Secretary of State’s website loads Arizona’s on-line library which has a myriad of options for students to browse at their discretion. Click “Online Reference Resources” and that is where the situation gets dicey.

The options that are available through “Online Reference Resources” include sites that have obscene material within them. One of the biggest offenders is GALE. Previously we wrote about EBSCO and the family in Colorado who outed them. Although EBSCO is not perfect, they contain less pornographic material than they did in the past–EBSCO has cleaned up their primary grade material, but not their middle or high school material. What to do if you want you are a company who makes money off students’ access to porn? One option is to use other online data bases to aggregate the material. As EBSCO has slightly improved, GALE has declined. Now Kyrene School District students can navigate right to sites that are not appropriate for children.

GALE Academic OneFile is one of the sites which contains materials not appropriate for children. For example, we typed “halfway house” in the search bar and the first result to load is called “Abuse Porn: Reading Reaction to Boys Halfway House.”

When skimming the Abuse Porn article, additional pornography information is shared with the reader.

Currently it is not uncommon to hear news reports about teachers having relationships with minor students. Both teachers and students have access to this material. Does accessing it through our schools send a subliminal message this behavior is okay?

One of the middle schools in Kyrene’s district is Akimel A-al. Students can get to GALE right from the school’s website, no need to go through the district’s website.

Click Student Educational Resources and it takes the student to various options, one of which is DAZL. From there, the student can link right to Arizona’s Secretary of State’s page, and then to GALE and basically whatever they want. Rinse, repeat, just like above.

In defense of Kyrene Schools, none of the districts can filter the material in the online data bases. Each data base is a proprietary collection of media, like an electronic bookshelf. Top site filters used by schools and public libraries can’t filter because the data base doesn’t belong to them.

The data bases available to Kyrene students are another symptom of its governing boards, past and present, in that they are not thoroughly researching what expenditures they approve. As in most districts, spending requests are quickly approved with little discussion. Outside programs and vendors, new textbooks, and library material are usually approved because school boards trust the teachers requesting the items. School boards consistently trust their Superintendents even though each Superintendent serves at the pleasure of the governing boards. Parents trust their school boards to make decisions that will provide a sound education for their children while keeping them safe. Unfortunately, the kids are no longer safe in Kyrene Schools. The gatekeepers aren’t doing their jobs and the children are their guinea pigs.

,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply