Springfield mom says young daughter saw porn on school issued Chromebook, district weighs in on changes

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Some Springfield parents are concerned about inappropriate material that's accessible on their children's school- issued Chromebooks.

They contacted KY3 News about those concerns, specifically pornography being viewed by young children in an ad at the bottom of a web page.

"I started teaching in public schools over 20 years ago, and for the first time will not be in public schools," said Brette Hay.

Her career came to an unexpected end.

"They assure us we have these filters, they can't access these things... she didn't search it, I didn't search it, but it came up, automatically came up, and automatically started playing with a full pornographic video," Mrs. Hay explained.

This, she says, on her then 7th grade daughters' school issued Chromebook.

"It was kind of hard seeing both of these ads because then it made me wonder and question-- so then I had to talk to mom and I looked things up and it was just very hurting to myself to see these things and then me questioning it," explained Emma Hay.

Emma says her goal in coming forward is to make parents more aware to be heavily involved in their child's online schooling.

"Honestly, because everything is going to an online platform-- nothing is going home, so parents don't know," Brette said.

Hay says she likely sees more than most as a teacher at SPS, but that wasn't much of a comfort when she felt like the district did not adequately address the problem.

The district says parents beware-- and make this coming school year a team effort.

"It is incumbent upon all of us to take that responsibility personally to watch out for our children," said Springfield Public Schools spokesman Stephen Hall. He says over this summer, the district has changed filtering companies. They were using "Securely," now they are going with one called "GoGuardian."

Plus, SPS has added a new position called an "information security officer" who will help address both known and unknown inappropriate content.

"As additional content becomes developed or known, we can expand the filtering, and that is an ongoing process," Hall said. "We can tighten filters to whatever a family needs."

It's an ever-evolving process, in a day and age where many kids just wish it were simple again.

"I prefer writing and paper and text," Emma said.