More on Internet filtering at LR schools | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 12, 2011

More on Internet filtering at LR schools

Posted By on Thu, May 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

I've continued to exchange notes with John Bacon, who heads the eStem Public Charter School, over the ACLU complaint that eStem and the Little Rock School District had placed filters on school computer networks that blocked access to legitimate, educational websites about homosexuality — support groups for gay kids, for example. At eStem, a "lifestyle" filter apparently produced the consequence, unintended or not, that while sites such as gay youth support groups were blocked, some groups with notorious anti-gay agendas were not blocked.

Bacon elaborated today (he was away from school most of yesterday to attend an awards ceremony for a stock market game competition won by some of his students):

At this point, I am waiting on a call back from Holly Dickson at ACLU to discuss their concerns (I left a message for her yesterday afternoon). We have examined our filtering software and are in the process of comparing the way our system is set up with the requirements under CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act). Our technology committee will determine what actions are necessary to ensure we remain in compliance with CIPA while also honoring the First Amendment rights of all our students. This will include the removal of the “lifestyle” tag.

Sounds like progress.

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