Mo. School District Told to Replace Web Filter Blocking Pro-Gay Sites

Marion Herbert's picture
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Students using the computers at Camdenton High School here in central Missouri have been able to access the Web sites for Exodus International, as well as People Can Change, antigay organizations that counsel men and women on how to become heterosexual.

But the students have not been able to access the Web sites of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.

They have been able to read Bowers v. Hardwick, the 1986 Supreme Court ruling that upheld a Georgia statute criminalizing sodomy. But they have been blocked from reading Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that held that laws criminalizing sodomy were unconstitutional.

They have been given access to scores of antigay sites, but not to those supportive of gay people.

A clear-cut case of censorship?

Actually, not so clear.

It does not appear that the school superintendent or the librarians or board members or the district Web master made these decisions.

Instead, the district’s Web filter determined which sites would be open to students and which would be blocked. Since the passage of the Children’s Internet Protection Act in 2000, public schools have been required to use Internet filters that shield students from pornography and obscenity.

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