Equity & Diversity

ACLU, Yale Law School Run Campaign Against Filtering LGBT Content

By Ian Quillen — June 15, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The American Civil Liberties Union and Yale Law School are collaborating on a “Don’t Filter Me” campaign to ask students to check if lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender resources are being blocked by their schools’ Internet filters.

Some schools, according to the ACLU, are guilty of filtering all LGBT content and thus infringing on free-speech rights as well as the Equal Access Act, which requires schools to give access to resources (including those on the Web) to all extracurricular clubs, includinggay-straight alliances and LGBT support groups. The Equal Access Act was passed in 1984 after lobbying from religious groups that wanted to ensure the rights of students to conduct Bible-study programs during lunch or after school.

In addition, the ACLU says, other schools have been found to block equal-rights advocacy organization websites like those of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, while allowing access to sites that condemn homosexuality or insist homosexuals can be transformed into heterosexuals, such as People Can Change.

While the ACLU lumps these dual claims together, they could stem, if true, from two very different causes.

Biased blocking of only sites that show LGBT issues positively points to a chief technology officer and/or a school culture with a specific and purposeful agenda.

But blocking all LGBT-related content could point to a chief technology officer who either hasn’t targeted inappropriate material carefully enough using a filtering system’s parameters, or is using a system that lacks enough nuance.

A lack of complexity in filtering is a dwindling but still-common complaint in some schools, especially as teachers look to use more complex and less restricted Web tools in their daily classroom operations.

The ACLU has taken action on claims of LGBT-based filtering in at least 23 states, and sent letters demanding a halt to such filtering in six since the initiative began on Feb. 15.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 15, 2011 edition of Digital Directions as ACLU, Yale Law School Run Campaign Against Filtering LGBT Content

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Education Insights with Actionable Data to Create More Personalized Engagement
The world has changed during this time of pandemic learning, and there is a new challenge faced in education regarding how we effectively utilize the data now available to educators and leaders. In this session
Content provided by Microsoft
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Accelerate Learning with Project-Based Learning
Earlier this year, the George Lucas Educational Foundation released four new studies highlighting how project-based learning (PBL) helps accelerate student learning—across age groups, multiple disciplines, and different socio-economic statuses. With this year’s emphasis on unfinished
Content provided by SmartLab Learning
School & District Management Live Online Discussion Principal Overload: How to Manage Anxiety, Stress, and Tough Decisions
According to recent surveys, more than 40 percent of principals are considering leaving their jobs. With the pandemic, running a school building has become even more complicated, and principals' workloads continue to grow. If we

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Reported Essay Do Students Have What They Need? One Survey Looks to Answer That Question
Even before the pandemic started, one state started thinking about how to understand student needs better. That plan accelerated with the virus.
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay What the Indian Caste System Taught Me About Racism in American Schools
Born and raised in India, reporter Eesha Pendharkar isn’t convinced that America’s anti-racist efforts are enough to make students of color feel like they belong.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay Our Student Homeless Numbers Are Staggering. Schools Can Be a Bridge to a Solution
The pandemic has only made the student homelessness situation more volatile. Schools don’t have to go it alone.
5 min read
Conceptual illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity How Have the Debates Over Critical Race Theory Affected You? Share Your Story
We want to hear how new constraints on teaching about racism have affected your schools.
1 min read
Illustrations.
Mary Hassdyk for Education Week