In February 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union launched our “Don’t Filter Me” campaign to stop public school districts from censoring student access to online information in school libraries about issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) people and educational resources for LGBT students. We launched the campaign after hearing reports from students across the country that their schools’ web filtering software was programmed to block these LGBT-supportive resources while at the same time allowing free access to websites condemned homosexuality or opposed legal protections for LGBT people. This viewpoint discrimination violates the First Amendment. Last fall, we issued an interim report recounting the number of individual school districts that we reached through the “Don’t Filter Me” campaign and the progress we made in ensuring that students are able to access LGBT websites just as they can other informational websites. This final report summarizes the structural changes that the “Don’t Filter Me” campaign has achieved. This final report also includes resources for students to use if they encounter viewpoint-discriminatory filtering at their own public schools or libraries.
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