ACLU Attorney Speaks About Online Censorship in Schools
The American Civil Liberties Union has threatened legal action against 107 Public School systems in Tennessee, if school official’s don’t allow students to access websites that are deemed “gay supportive.”
The school districts’ internet filtering is managed by a company called Education Networks of America. On its website, the company gives a list of categories of websites that are blocked in Tennessee. The categories include not just adult content like personal ads and pornography, but also controversial subjects like religion, the military, and gay issues.
ACLU of Tennessee staff attorney Tricia Herzfeld says preventing students from seeing these subjects isn’t doing students any favors when it comes to their education.
Herzfeld: “The more exposure that they have and the more they talk about things that may be controversial in some people’s minds, the better educated our students become, which makes them better, more productive members of society, regardless of which side of the issue they fall on.”
Herzfeld said blocking access to these websites is a clear violation of the first amendment. The ACLU says if access to the websites of groups like GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign and GLSEN isn’t granted by the end of the month, they will take legal action.