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YouTube is an amazing source of information. Just open their main web page, type in what you’re looking for, and in an instant, there it is.

But YouTube also overflows with videos so shocking that they put the “g” in “gross” as parents of a class of fourth graders recently discovered.

Did you know that YouTube isn’t supposed to be viewed by children under 13 in the United States? That’s what their “Terms of Use” states, advising that parents have the ability of limiting their children’s access to the adult YouTube site on home computers and encourage “YouTube for Kids” instead.

If an elementary school teacher were to play YouTube videos for her students, you would not expect the teacher to show subjects which would shock or frighten the kids, right?

Well, now picture that same teacher showing fourth graders stomach-turning, disgusting YouTube videos which even appear to violate the site’s own decency standards.

For that’s precisely what happened at an elementary school located “East of the Mississippi,” as my readers requested I state. “What began as an attempt to educate our twins and others in the class about the dangers of childhood obesity has become a dark descent into viewing some of the most disturbing, stomach-churning images that anyone — especially little kids — should ever see,” they said.

After viewing some of them, I agree.

Something was wrong

“When our twin fourth graders, a brother and sister, came home from school it was evident something was wrong which became all too clear at dinner. Jeanie refused to eat, crying, and saying, ‘I don’t want to get fat like those people. I’m not hungry.’

“Dinner was spaghetti which they love, but her brother, Robert, did something completely unexpected. He put his plate to his mouth and almost vacuumed the whole portion of spaghetti and then spit it out! Then, both kids started to cry and ran to their rooms.

“My wife and I were in shock! What had happened to make them act so strangely? Before we could ask the twins, the phone rang, the first of several calls from parents of other kids in the classroom who described their kids’ very odd behavior and told us what the children had told them.”

My readers explained there was a substitute teacher who told the children, “Some of you are very overweight. I am so much overweight that I will have an operation to help me lose weight. I am going to show you videos of people who are obese, eat too much, make being fat appear funny and send a wrong message to the people who watch their YouTube channels.”

“May I speak with the twins?” I asked my readers, and soon, two charming, intelligent, articulate little voices said, “Hello, Mr. Beaver! Mommy and daddy asked me to tell you what we saw.”

“The teacher asked us if we had ever heard the word ‘mukbang,’ and no one had. She explained that it is a YouTube eating show where people eat a lot of food on camera for anyone to watch. The more people who watch, the more money advertisers will pay to be on the eater’s YouTube channel. She asked if we wanted to see some of these videos and we all said yes.

“Before playing them, she said something like, ‘Some of you are getting very fat and you could wind up like these people.’ Then she showed videos of some very fat people eating so much food! This made us feel sick, Mr. Beaver, it really did.”

What I found

In looking at these mukbang videos, I wondered how YouTube could permit such trash to be on their website, emailed them, received confirmation they had received my inquiry, but they did not answer the question.

Discussing the experience of this fourth grade class with both a California School Resource Office and an elementary school principal — who requested anonymity — both recommended that parents needed to file a formal complaint with the school district.I hope they will.

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