Important cautions re. inadvertent blocking of LGBT related web sites in schools.

Some quotes from this article:

  • Schools cannot block access to information on the Internet any more than they can engage in viewpoint-based discrimination toward the books on the shelves.

  • [Some] schools were using filtering software configured to block LGBT-supportive websites

  • The filter would block websites that expressed support for LGBT people and their legal rights, but allow access to websites that condemn homosexuality as immoral or oppose laws protecting LGBT people from bullying and discrimination.

  • At a time when bullying and suicide among LGBT youths is all too prevalent, blocking certain websites deprives students of access to anti-bullying resources, suicide hotlines, and religious organizations that help students and families

  • This is especially relevant to students in crisis who may not feel safe accessing such sites from their home computers

  • Many schools mistakenly thought their filters were designed to block pornography, not knowing they were blocking nonsexual LGBT websites as well because they were overinclusive.

  • Several companies agreed to eliminate their LGBT categories and placed nonsexual LGBT websites in neutral categories such as social science, history, or other appropriate areas

  • As technology changes, schools must be aware that all outposts in the marketplace of ideas should be open to students, whether on the bookshelves or the Internet

Posted from Diigo.

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