Tennessee Schools Sued for Blocking GLBT Sites

A media specialist and several high school students are suing two school districts in Tennessee for unconstitutionally blocking access to online information about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) issues.

Librarian Karyn Stort-Brinks, students Keila Franks and Emily Logan, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and Knox County Schools. Franks and Logan attend Hume-Fogg High School in Nashville. Knox News reports.


The writer of this article was given incorrect information. I attend Martin Luther King Magnet High School as a rising junior. MLK and HFA are in the same vicinity of downtown Nashville and both are a part of the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System. These filters may block LGBT sites, but furthermore, they block virtually ANY site that is not school/research related. The claim stated above that, "the filter does not block pornography sites but LGBT sites" is surpassingly fallacious. To demonstrate to you the extent of how much is blocked on the filtering system, the image search on any search engine is blocked. To cap it all, MNPS does not administer which sites are blocked, ENA (Education Networks of America) does. A list of the sites that ENA blocks in Tennessee are posted here: www.ena.com/help/BlueCoat/TN/. If anyone decides to point fingers, the lawsuit should be directed towards ENA, not MNPS.

Quote: "Examples of a few of ENA's filter categories are Hate/Discrimination, Gambling, Pornography, Adults Only, Suicide/Murder and School Cheating Pages. If a site is found to contain material from one of these filter categories, it is added to the blocked sites list. With ENA's Differentiated Content Filtering solution, each school system, library or government agency can select and customize which filter categories are monitored for their content filtering."

This quote reinforces the argument that ENA chooses to block these sites, not MNPS. MNPS only chooses ENA as their content filtering service. ULTIMATELY, MNPS DOES NOT CHOOSE WHICH SITES ARE BLOCKED. The plantiffs should have completed research before they decided to go through with a lawsuit. I do not see why a lawsuit is being filed, I am confident in my belief of negotiation: these students/school adminstrators could have as easily contacted MNPS regarding their concern. They would then find out that they would have to take their concern to ENA. This lawsuit is an extemporaneous act for the plaintiffs to get attention, as they are in local newscasts and websites. I may recieve controversial rebuts from this, but how does the blockage of LGBT sites affect the plaintiffs in any way? I forsee this lawsuit being null and void in the future for the reason that MNPS has nothing to do with what sites are blocked.
source: www.ena.com/products/content_filtering.html