Don't Filter Me: Web Content Filtering in Schools

If you've been mistreated or harassed based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status, the ACLU wants to hear about it. Report LGBT/HIV Discrimination »

Many public schools use web filtering software to block students’ access to pornographic websites, in accordance with federal law. Unfortunately, many of the most commonly used web filtering software packages include a special category for websites that contain information about LGBT issues and organizations, even though the websites are not sexually explicit in any way.

When public school districts block these LGBT categories, preventing students from accessing websites for positive LGBT rights organizations, they often still allow access to anti-LGBT sites that condemn LGBT people or urge us to try to change our sexual orientation. This viewpoint discrimination violates students’ rights under the First Amendment.

That’s why the ACLU launched the Don’t Filter Me campaign in February of 2011: to prevent viewpoint-discriminatory censorship of positive LGBT web content in public schools nationwide.

Because of the Don’t Filter Me campaign, several companies agreed to eliminate their LGBT categories and place nonsexual LGBT websites in neutral categories. Read more in this final report on the campaign »

Stay Informed