From:SARATOGANY@aol.com
Date:Fri, 22 Feb 2002 12:46:05 EST
Subject:STUDENTS AND TEACHERS:Internet Filtering Software in Your School?

Message from:
The Coalition for Safer Schools of NYS, PO Box 2345, Malta, NY 12020
John Myers, Director of Operations and Programs
Email to:SARATOGANY@aol.com
The Real or Perceived Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Student Protection Project

CSS-NYS Note:Anyone using an Iternet browser and the search word "gay" (without filters) unfortunately will get many porn sites in their search results. Hopefully the techies can somehow filter out gay porn and leave gay education sites alone. The message below from GLSEN is seeking your help regarding your school's filtering software. There is a GLSEN webpage at the end of the message to report your findings....John Myers
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Subj: STUDENTS AND TEACHERS:Internet Filtering Software in Your School?
Date: 2/22/02 8:25:40 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: webmaster@glsen.policy.net (GLSEN)
Reply-to: comments@glsen.policy.net
To:saratogany@aol.com (John Myers)

STUDENTS AND TEACHERS:Internet Filtering Software in Your School?

Read just a few of the emails GLSEN has received recently from students and teachers about Internet filtering software one their schools' computers:

I attend public school in Virginia. I've tried to access GLSEN and GSA resources, and the computer comes up saying the site is blocked and listed under "sexual content." There is a difference between porn and equality.

I go to a public school in California. Today I found out that the school district had the word "gay" blocked on the computers at all of the district's schools. I was just searching for a gay pride group.

I tried to access GLSEN's site and the computer gives me something like "Cannot access http://www.glsen.org, category:sex/sexuality."

Can you believe it? We are trying to access the GLSEN Jump-Start materials for GSAs through my school computer and have been blocked from the site because that's how the district is preventing students from accessing so-called "naughty" sites.

Our students were having difficulty researching the Middle East because the word "bomb" was in many of the articles and it filtered it out. The computer technician in our school is "working on the problem." And we continuously give him lists of words to unfilter.

According to the law, Internet filtering software is supposed to block or filter web sites with visual depictions that are:
Obscene,
Child pornography or
"Harmful to minors."

GLSEN is gravely concerned that Internet filtering software is denying students access to information that will promote their health and well being and/or inhibit their education, and is using this action alert to research the problem.

Please take action today and let GLSEN know if your school's Internet filtering software is doing more harm than good.

Visit http://glsen.policy.net to take action now!
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This message has been distributed as a free informational service for the expressed interest of non-profit research and educational purposes only.

Subscribe at saratogany@aol.com

John Myers
Director of Operations and Programs
(518) 587-0176

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Last updated 2/22/2002 by Jean Richter, richter@eecs.Berkeley.EDU