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ACLU Project to Assess LGBT Web Filtering in Schools

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The American Civil Liberties Union–or ACLU–has launched a new campaign to try and stop school officials from filtering out LGBT Web content from their campus browsers.

The civil rights group has partnered with Yale Law School to start “Don’t Filter Me”–the initiative asks students nationwide to check to see if their schools block educational material geared towards LGBT youth. If so, they are encouraged to report such instances to the ACLU LGBT Project.

The Project’s Staff Attorney Joshua Block tells OutQ News that they have received a number of complaints over the past year about LGBT web censorship. One student even reported seeing a big red stop sign saying a particular website was blocked BECAUSE of its gay content.

Block says that although this type of filtering is illegal and unconstitutional, it’s still fairly common.

BLOCK: “These problems keep popping up like Whack-a-Mole, and once you fix them in one school, you find out that another school halfway across the country is doing exactly the same thing. So, you know, we decided that we needed to have a more systemic solution to this problem.”

Block says that aside from getting student input, the organization may also ask to see school records on web filtering policies. That will eventually help the Project create a packet to present to administrators on how to further address the web content issue.

But Block says they’ve already met one of their main goals, which was to let students know that this is in fact a national problem.


Written by Xorje Olivares

February 16, 2011 at 4:38 PM

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