The ACLU has been suing schools across the country through its “Don’t Filter Me” campaign, which challenges districts to lift Internet filters that block students’ access to LGBT-affirming materials while often still allowing access to dangerous anti-LGBT and ex-gay advocacy sites. Many schools have complied by adjusting their filters, but Camdenton School District in Missouri is resisting, with parents asserting that the school needs to filter these “sex sites” and “inappropriate material.”
In fact, the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group known for its anti-gay advocacy, has involved itself, suggesting “school districts shouldn’t be bullied into exposing students to sexually explicit materials,” dubbing the “Don’t Filter Me” campaign the “Public School Porn Initiative.” What ADF and parents are trying to suggest is that any content about LGBT identities is “inappropriate” and “explicit,” a harmful message to youth who may be LGBT or questioning their identity. In reality, the ACLU campaign is trying to help students access affirming and anti-bullying resources like the Trevor Project, the “It Gets Better” campaign, the GSA Network (Gay Straight Alliance), and GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network).
The district has until Thursday to respond to the federal suit. Watch a local news report on the suit and the community’s response from KSPR Channel 33: