Goose Creek ISD Can Get All Gay: ACLU Succeeds in Ending Web-Filtering of GLBT Content

Last month we told you how Baytown's Goose Creek school district was one of four nationwide targeted by the American Civil Liberties Union in a complaint over blocking gay-related material from school computers.

One Goose Creek student trying to research the Chick-fil-A company was barred because of stories on gay protests against the fast-food purveyor.

Goose Creek ISD officials said at the time the software they used, which called for blocking sites that fell under the category of "Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interest," was legal, but they would look into things.

And they've decided to in essence agree with the ACLU.

The organization said it had received confirmation from Goose Creek and a Fort Worth ISD that the filters would be tweaked.

After receiving the letters [from the ACLU], the school districts discovered that their filtering software had been configured to block educational LGBT-related information that is not sexually explicit in any way. These anti-LGBT filters can be removed without impairing the schools' ability to block pornographic or sexually explicit content as required by federal law.

"No student should be denied access to legitimate information, and Goose Creek and Eagle Mountain-Saginaw school officials should be commended for doing the right thing and taking prompt action to restore that access," said Lisa Graybill, Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas. "All schools should ensure that their web filters are configured to provide students with viewpoint-neutral access to the Internet."

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly