DON'T BE SILENCED! DON'T BE CENSORED!
Students Have a Right to Know Who They Are and That They Are Not Alone.
Stop Censorship in Our Public Schools!
Please forward to a Utah high school student
TAKE ACTION: Students, check your school's web filter and fill out this form >>
Did you know that it’s illegal for public schools to use their web filtering software to deny students access to positive, affirming information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues while allowing access to anti-gay websites? The ACLU's LGBT Project, along with the Yale Law School LGBT Litigation Clinic, is asking public high school students nationwide. to check out your high school’s web filters and help us make sure you’re not being blocked from information you have a right to have!
“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.”
Programs that block all LGBT content violate 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. Some schools have also improperly configured their web filters to block news items pertaining to issues like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and deny access to support groups that could be vital for troubled LGBT youth who either don’t have access to the Internet at home, or do not feel safe accessing such information on their home computers.
TAKE ACTION: High school students - help stop censorship! Check out these websites from your school computer to see if they are blocked by your schools internet filter.
If your school doesn't block ANY of these websites, that's wonderful! There's no need for you to contact us, so you don't have to submit this form. Feel free to check out our website at http://www.aclu.org/safeschools for more information on your rights!
Step 1: Try to visit each of the following LGBT websites from a computer at your school -- try them in a different tab or window of your browser -- and then let us know if any of them are blocked:
National Day of Silence >>
It Gets Better Project >>
The Trevor Project >>
GSA Network >>
Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network >>
Step 2: Now, try to visit these anti-LGBT, “pray away the gay” websites from a computer at your school and then let us know if any of them are blocked:
National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality >>
People Can Change >>
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays >>
Step 3: If you know how to do a screen capture, go ahead and do one for each website that is blocked, and save them somewhere where you can get to them later. If you don’t know how, don’t worry -- we’ll talk you through how to do this later on.
Step 4: Fill out the on-line form >> Note: this survey may not be completed by students under 13.
More information on the ACLU’s work on LGBT school issues can be found here >>