School Blocks Conservative Websites — but Not Liberal Ones

By:  Selwyn Duke
06/23/2014
       
School Blocks Conservative Websites — but Not Liberal Ones

While academics often speak reverently about the “marketplace of ideas,” it seems that many educational institutions opt for a controlled economy of expression.

A good example is Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Connecticut, where an 18-year-old student found that the school was blocking conservative and Christian websites — but not corresponding liberal and non-Christian ones.

As he conducted research last month for a classroom gun-control debate, Andrew Lampart found that access to the websites of the National Association for Gun Rights and the National Rifle Association was forbidden. Yet anti-Second Amendment pages such as the Newtown Action Alliance and Moms Demand Action were not blocked. Was this merely attributable to the anti-gun paranoia that has some schools punishing children for shaping their fingers as a pistol? Hardly.

Suspicious and curious, Lampart explored websites relating to other issues. Writes FoxCT.com:

“I immediately found out that the State Democrat web site was unblocked but the State GOP web site was blocked...,” [said Lampart].

Lampart even looked at Web sites focusing on abortion issues and religion. He found that “right-to-life” groups were blocked by the public school firewall but that Planned Parenthood and Pro-Choice America were not. He also tried to get on web sites such as Christianity.com and the Vatican’s web site but both were blocked. Islam-guide.com he found, was not.

Taking the initiative, Lampart met with his school principal, Andrew O’Brien, who referred him to the superintendent of Woodbury schools, Jody Goeler. He then lodged a complaint with Goeler, but the censorship was still in place a week later. So, writes CBS Connecticut:

[Lampart] decided to take his concerns to the Board of Education on Monday [June 9].

“It’s not a joking matter in terms of having access to both sides of an issue,” Board Chairman John Chapman told WTIC.

“The Board appreciated hearing the comments from Andrew and agree that he has raised an important issue that warrants further investigation,” Chapman explained.

Not only does the problem still exist, however, but such tepid bureaucrat-speak could make critics suspect that officials were just trying to run out the clock till the summer break. 

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