News Updates by Shannon Ralph
With all of the news coverage in recent months about anti-gay bullying and suicide by LGBT youth, you would think our public schools would be at the forefront of combating these issues. Ummmm…not so much. As a matter of fact, many school districts have restrictive web blocking software that prevents school staff and students alike from accessing websites that include gay or lesbian content or have anything at all to do with LGBT “interests”. Web sites such as GLSEN (Gay and Lesbian School Education Network), The Trevor Project (an LGBT youth suicide prevention organization), and the It Gets Better Project (a LGBT youth support project) are being blocked my many schools. This means that students who are struggling with coming out, being bullied at school, are contemplating suicide due to their sexual orientation—or students who are simply looking for positive representations of LGBT people—do not have access to this information in schools.
The ACLU has recently instituted a “Don’t Filter Me” campaign aimed at compelling companies that make and supply filtering software to schools to remove anti-LGTB filtering. Specifically, the ACLU has targeted five companies that filter gay and lesbian content in school districts across the country:
More information on the ACLU’s work on LGBT school issues can be found here: www.aclu.org/safeschools
[Photo Credit: lukasbenc]