ACLU Targets School Web Filters
Special Report - April 13, 2011
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has partnered with Yale Law School in launching a nationwide campaign to force schools to stop filtering “web content geared toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.” The initiative, “Don’t Filter Me,” which was launched in February 2011, has already targeted schools in 21 states, including North Carolina.
The campaign targets schools by asking students to check and then report to the ACLU whether their school’s web browsers block web content geared toward the LGBT community. The ACLU then sends letters to the schools, arguing that such filtering violates the First Amendment and the Equal Access Act, which requires that all extracurricular clubs at schools receive the same access to school resources. The ACLU posits that software used to filter out LGBT web content represents “viewpoint-based censorship” and is discriminatory because it prevents students from accessing web content that is not considered sexually explicit or inappropriate. They argue that the information being blocked provide “helpful information to gay-straight alliances and other support groups that could be vital for troubled LGBT youth.”
Additionally, as part of the initiative, the ACLU has identified companies whose web filtering software used by schools includes “special categories designed to filter out LGBT websites,” such as “LGBT,” “Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interests,” Education about lifestylesgay, lesbian, alternate.” According to the ACLU’s web filtering map of the United States, North Carolina is identified as one of the 16 states where the ACLU is “investigating reports of LGBT web filtering” by schools.
Same-Sex Prom Concessions - April 23, 2010
School System Bans Sex-Based Student Clubs - August 17, 2006
In the Name of Safety- FNC- Mar/Apr 2008
Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.