Beyond The Books: Utah mom finds pornographic pics on Utah Education Network database
(KUTV) — A Utah mom says she found some pretty "raunchy" pictures on a website that is supposed to protect kids from questionable material.
The site could be found on a network of education websites used by Utah kids—the Utah Education Network. It's an academic search engine available to kids statewide. Questionable material is supposed to be blocked out, which is why one mother was surprised to find that wasn't the case.
Nicholeen Peck, of Tooele, said she started looking around on the network, which provides computer services, including a database that many elementary, junior high and high school students are instructed to use when doing research for school projects.
Peck said she started punching in some key words, and came across some pretty risque pictures. It only took 45 minutes before Peck said she was too disgusted to continue.
"Lots of yucky pictures," Peck said.
The 2News Beyond the Books team was also able to pull up pictures similar to the ones Peck said she found.
"It is disappointing that UEN didn't look," Peck said.
The Utah Education Network uses a research database provided by a company called EBSCO, which says they are a safe place for kids to do research so parents don't have to worry about exactly the kinds of images Peck said she found in the database.
2News reached out the UEN to ask about the images. The network immediately began addressing the issues, and hours later issued a statement:
EBSCO has immediately removed some inappropriate content and other content will be addressed within 72 hours.
The website will stay up, however, UEN said.
Because students rely on our research libraries to complete homework, we have chosen to keep most of our services available throughout the weekend.
Peck, a politically active parenting blogger, said she wants the state to pull out of its relationships with UEN and EBSCO.
"I don't think I could trust EBSCO to scrub it, and I don't think UEN should trust them to scrub it," Peck said. "They should pull out."