The Alliance Defense Fund is taking on the ACLU in its fight to get Gwinnett County schools and other schools across the country from filtering LGBT websites to students.
While the ACLU argues that filtering LGBT websites prohibits students attending schools in the Atlanta suburb from such websites as the “It Gets Better Project,” the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition, Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), GSA Network, and the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the ADF protests that lifting the filter would allow students easy access to pornographic websites.
Opening the filtering program would "allow sites such as polybi.com, where a woman's naked torso is fondled by three hands; gaydatingtips.com, which advertises a see-through boxer for men; and gayquestions.com/hc3.asp, where students would see an image of two naked men apparently engaged in a sex act," the ADF wrote in a letter to Gwinnett Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks and emailed to him on Aug. 1, states a report from the conservative online news site World Net Daily.
Alliance Defense Fund to Gwinnett schools: Don’t be bullied by ACLU’s ‘radical sexual agenda’
“School districts shouldn’t be bullied into exposing students to sexually explicit materials,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman in a statement. “This latest scare tactic — under the façade of illegal censorship — is just another act of intimidation designed to forward the ACLU’s radical sexual agenda for children.”
On May 23, the ACLU threatened the Gwinnett School System with legal action if it did not remove the filter because it prohibited lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students from access to such websites that could be helpful, including how to start a gay-straight alliance or how to deal with bullying.
“Allowing students equal access to LGBT-related websites is not just a legal duty; it also makes sense from a safety perspective, particularly in light of the epidemic of LGBT youth suicides and bullying,” states the ACLU of Georgia letter.
“Prohibiting access to LGBT websites is especially problematic because many students do not have computers or internet access at home and can access the internet only at school. We wish to emphasize that unblocking individual LGBT-related websites upon request is not an appropriate solution to this problem,” the letter continues.
Gwinnett County School System spokesperson Sloan Roach said Aug. 2 that the system is still reviewing its filtering process and software.
“We do not want to restrict anyone to public sites but at the same time we have no intention of opening up inappropriate content to students,” she said.
The press release from the ADF states, “The ACLU claims that the district should disable the LGBT filter because of the ‘epidemic of LGBT youth suicides and bullying,’ but the ADF letter points out that the ACLU’s letter threatening to sue identifies no instances of bullying or suicide at schools within the district and that such problems, when they do exist, are not solved by disabling Internet filters.
“The idea that Internet filters somehow result in student suicides is preposterous, and the ACLU should be ashamed for making such a connection,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco in the statement.
“The ACLU cannot mask its attempts to turn school computers into porn portals for children with a supposed concern for bullying and suicides. Parents expect schools to be places where their children will learn knowledge, information, and skills that will make them productive members of society, not places where they can access pornography.”