The American Civil Liberties Union and a local affiliate were in a Missouri courtroom today filing for a preliminary injunction to halt the filtering practices of the Camdenton, Mo., school district.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the district as part of its “Don’t Filter Me” campaign we wrote about in this fall’s issue of Digital Directions. The suit charges that the district has continued to unlawfully block websites that give supportive, educational information about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered, or LGBT, lifestyles while allowing access to websites that oppose LGBT lifestyles, even after receiving written notification from the ACLU. The suit argues that non-viewpoint-neutral filtering violates First Amendment free speech rights and the federal Equal Access Act.
The school district’s superintendent had told us earlier that the district disagreed with the ACLU’s argument that its filtering practices were unlawful, and that it would consider unblocking individual websites based on student and/or staff request.
An injunction granting a halt to these practices would not be a final decision, but would stand until the ACLU’s lawsuit with the Camdenton district is settled.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.