ACLU Fights to Stop Web Filtering of LGBT Sites in Schools

The ACLU and Yale Law School have teamed up to launch a campaign called “Don’t Filter Me” to assess censorship of web content in public high schools. The campaign asks students to check to see if web content geared toward LGBT communities—a frequent target of censorship in schools—is blocked by their schools’ web browsers. Students can report instances of censorship to the ACLU LGBT Project.

“Students may not realize that it actually is illegal for their schools to block educational and political content geared toward the LGBT community,” said Joshua Block, staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT Project. “With this initiative, we hope to inform students of their rights, and let them know there is something they can do if their school is engaging in censorship.”

The ACLU wants students to know that the blockage of LGBT content websites violates the First Amendment rights to free speech, as well as the Equal Access Act, which requires equal access to school resources for all extracurricular clubs, including gay-straight alliances and LGBT support groups. Some schools have improperly configured their web filters to block access to websites for LGBT rights organizations such as the GSA Network and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, but allow access to sites that condemn homosexuality or urge LGBT people to try to change their sexual orientation, such as People Can Change.

For anyone who want to get involved, click here!

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