NFFV Action Request

Upcoming Education

Committee Hearing

Monday, March 6, 2023

1:30 PM, Room 1525


LB635 Provide Requirements Regarding Access to Digital and Online Resources for Student by School Districts, Schools, and the Nebraska Library Commission

What is LB635 all about?

LB635 would require school districts, schools, and library commissions to provide protection to K-12 students from pornographic materials.

In today's public schools, students have access to school computers and iPads for classwork, assignments, grades, and research for assignments. Similar to many work environments, students have to log in to the school's databases. NebraskAccess is one of the primary systems utilized by schools across Nebraska, though there are others like Gale and ProQuest, in addition to search engines such as Symbaloo. NebraskAccess has three login levels: "All NebraskAccess Databases", "High School Database", and "Elementary/Middle School Database". Each level is "supposed" to give students and parents different levels of "age appropriate" information.

What parents and others have found in these systems is kids have access to pornography and other inappropriate materials. Passwords are not well managed, students are given adult level passwords, and some systems require no passwords.

Where does a few clicks take you?

You may think these materials are hard to get to. Unfortunately, that's not true. With just a one word search and two clicks, your 9th grader could be on a site called "self". From an Omaha elementary school; one click, a word search, and then 3 more clicks will take you to movies like "Debbie Does Dallas", which is a 1978 pornographic film. Does anyone find it ironic that an underaged child cannot go to a X-rated film in theaters but can view one in their school?

You may still think kids are never going to find these videos at school. The reality is when child knows, they all will know the right clicks and word searches. What child won't tell their friends about this "new discovery"? Remember what happened when a bite of an apple took place. The apple was offered to someone else. Genesis 3:6 "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." Unfortunately, it's our fallen human nature.

It's interesting that most employers have measures in place to keep these materials out of their business systems. It's time schools do the same. LB637 would require just that.

Who's behind allowing this material in schools?

Knowing what you know, you may be wondering why anyone would allow or want this material in schools. Unfortunately, there are strong forces who work hard to keep this material at the fingertips of kids. One such entity is the ELPAC - English Language Proficiency Assessment for California. In their 2022 Annual Report they celebrated the failure of Nebraska legislation LB1213; page 10. This bill mirrors LB635 which failed to have floor debate last year. Other entities opposing legislation like LB635 are the American Library Association and the large database companies who contract with schools, such as Gale and EBSCO. Their argument is always the First Amendment. Interestingly the courts have upheld limiting "printed" obscene material is not a violation of the First Amendment whereas online materials have not held up as well, see here.

If you're wondering the legality of this issue, it is due to a loophole in legislation that allows schools to use explicit images for "teaching" purposes. Nebraska has several laws on obscenity, 28-808 and 28-809 certainly come to mind. However, there is a loophole in 28-815 that allows these materials in our schools.

Where's the harm?

There are many who believe this doesn't really matter as kids are going to access these materials one way or another; either in school or on their own. While this is may be true for some, it's not true for all. As parents, when we send our kids off to school, we trust school will watch and protect them while educating them. Parents' opinions toward adequate protections vary, but it is safe to assume something deemed illegal outside school should be deemed illegal in school. Imagine a school studying the effects of drugs, and giving students drugs "as a learning aid". The effects on the child would be lifelong. The same is true for exposing them to obscene images at a young age.

There are many articles on the negative impact of pornographic on children and young adults. One such in the National Library of Medicine concluded in part: "Our analyses indicate a significant relationship between mental health and pornography use, including behaviors reflecting behavioral addictions, highlighting the necessity for a better understanding and consideration of the potential contribution of internet pornography to negative mental health among university students." You can read the full study here.

How to be heard? 

Take action, your voice is powerful make it heard. LB635 committee hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 6, 2023.

How to be heard? Here are three ways:

  • Most EffectiveTestify in person. Going to the Committee hearing and sharing YOUR story with committee member Senators is very impactful. For first time in person testifier here are some helpful hints
  • Very EffectiveSubmit written testimony. If you can't be there in person then submit written testimony. Not sure how to do that, click hereNote; written testimony needs to be submitted by noon the business day before the committee hearing.
  • EffectiveEmail your position letter to the Committee Senators and CC your own Senator. For a listing of the Education Committee Senators click hereNote; emails need to be sent by noon the business day before the committee hearing. It's not likely these emails will be included in official hearing minutes though there is a better chance Committee Senators will see your comments. You can request they be added to meeting minutes in your email to Committee Senators.

Not sure what to say?

Listed below are thought starters. Build your story around one or two of them. Quantity is not as important as a short heart felt personal story.


Here are three strong arguments to support this sound legislation:

  • Children basically have unlimited and unsupervised access to obscene materials to include pornography in schools across Nebraska. It would be illegal for them to view an X-rated film in theaters, however they can do so through their school's network.

  • Businesses block obscene content from entering their business networks; there is no reason schools cannot and should not do the same.

  • Studies show viewing pornography can be as addictive as using cocaine. We wouldn't give our kids drugs at school under the guise of "learning", thus why would we do so for pornography?
Board of Directors Team