CT School District Apologizes For Blocking Conservative Websites

BlockedAndrew LampartOn the website of Connecticut's Regional School District 14 is a commendable, but somewhat out-of-context, commitment to relative Internet freedom for public school students, dated June 20.

Regional School District 14 takes the position that while it is obviously critical to block specific categories of websites as required by law (e.g., pornography, etc.), the blocking of otherwise appropriate websites, regardless of political or religious viewpoints, is WRONG.

The statement goes on to note that "On Region 14's computers, some websites were blocked, while others were not," and it was all a big technical error.

A letter dated the previous day gives us a little of the awkward background in this story.

In recent weeks, a student conducting research on the district’s network came upon a pattern of information access through the district’s content filtering service...

the district has pressed Dell SonicWall for more information about how websites are assigned to categories and why there are apparent inconsistencies, as discovered by the student, in classifications particularly along conservative and liberal lines. Many of the liberal sites accessible to the student fell into the “not rated” category, which was unblocked while many of the conservative sites were in the “political/advocacy group” which is accessible to teachers but not to students. The district is trying to determine the reason for the inconsistency and if the bias is pervasive enough to justify switching to another content filtering provider.

Uh huh. As it turns out, high school student Andrew Lampart was assigned to do a report on gun control, and quickly discovered that the school Internet connection allowed him access to only one side of the debate. Then he found that the school permitted access to only one side of many debates—permitting access to gun control groups and liberal organizations, but not their counterparts. Whoops.

On Facebook, he wrote:

Earlier in the semester, our law class was promised to hold a debate closer to the end of the year on the issue of gun control. To prepare, I decided to do some research and gather resources during study hall. However, I immediately found it difficult to find resources that were opposed to stricter gun-control as most of these websites were blocked by the firewall. Most of these websites were blocked under the category of “Political/Advocacy Groups.” Out of curiousity, I decided to perform a brief investigation and search to see what other websites were blocked under this listing. What I discovered was appalling.

As you can see from the list that I have provided you, the firewall at the high school offers a very biased viewpoint towards not only the issue of gun-control, but also abortion, religion, and political parties. Even in this crucial election year for not only the state of Connecticut, but the entire nation, the firewall has selectively blocked candidate websites.

Bias in public schol classrooms is nothing new, but this was especially blatant. And Lampart wasn't prepared to let it rest. His Facebook complaint quickly caught media attention. And that explains Connecticut's Regional School District 14's new, publicly proclaimed devotion to Internet freedom.

Lampart's list of blocked and unblocked sites is below.

--Blocked--
-National Right To Life
-ctmirror.org
-debate.org
-Second Amendment Foundation
-National Rifle Association
-Paul Ryan for Congress
-liberallogic101.com
-The Black Sphere
--rightwingnewscom
-ctfamily.org
rightwingwatch.org
redstate.com
townhall.com
sarahpac.com
teaparty.org
National Right To Life Foundation
Protectmarriage.com
vatican.va
christianity.com
nationalgunrights.org
ctgop.org
liberallogic101.com

-Unblocked-
ctdems.org
newtownactionalliance.org
momsdemandaxtion.org
islam-guide.com
lgbtqnation.com
plannedparenthod.org
prochoiceamerica.org
americanprogress.org
conservativelogic101.com
wsws.org
hillaryclintonoffice.com
danmalloy2014.com
nationalgrassrootscoalition.org
banhandgunsnow.org

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  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The school district used a *private* contractor, yet the Teahadists are going to say this is a case of *government* censorship!

    /sarc

  • ||

    I'm kind of surprised they didn't just use OpenDNS. I think they're free for schools they have a K-12 specific program, which is fairly inexpensive, and seem to be a solid operation with a lot of granular control for those who want it and a click-and-leave-it setup for those who don't.

  • ||

    Many of the liberal sites accessible to the student fell into the “not rated” category, which was unblocked while many of the conservative sites were in the “political/advocacy group” which is accessible to teachers but not to students.

    Umm, you left "unrated" unblocked to students but "political/advocacy" filtered? Those are some interesting priorities you have there district 14.

  • ||

    Yeah, that seemed interesting...

  • Paul.||

    I had to unblock a bunch of Wiccan sites because our subscription service categorized them as "occult".

  • ||

    Back when the internet was first a thing in our home my parents got the AFA Web Filter. I get it, they didn't want their son looking at titties online.

    Pornography, gambling and Internet affairs are not harmless activities, they are destructive and these materials will find you even if you are not looking for them! We take Internet protection seriously, which is why we've created the best in Internet protection software for Christians.

    We ran into a problem when I had to do a report on Gnosticism for my Lutheran high school and couldn't access any information on it because it was un-Christian.

    We eventually got a new computer or upgraded windows or something and the filter didn't follow, but I'm sure my parents paid the monthly fees until the credit card expired.

  • ||

    "What you view becomes a part of you!"

    That's a rather disturbing slogan.

  • ||

    Are you saying TubGirl isn't part of your core?

  • Free Society||

    You always struck me as more of a Lemon Party guy, Jesse.

  • ||

    Oooh, I didn't scroll down far enough: American Family Online filters things like:

    Alcohol
    Sites that sell or have information on the recreational use of alcohol. This category includes sites that sell alcohol, sites of alcohol manufacturers, sites that show how to make mixed drinks, and similar sites.

    First one on the list and I'm already annoyed.

    Anarchy
    Sites containing information regarding militias, weapons, antigovernment groups, terrorism, and simliar sites.

    Now I wonder if Reason is filtered?

    Personals/Dating
    Sites which are related to personal advertisements, dating sites, dating services, relationships, introductions, and simliar sites.

    I wonder if they let Christian Mingle through.

    Alternative Lifestyles
    Information promoting adultery, infidelity, same gender and/or trans-gendered relationships.

    Wouldn't a trans-gendered relationship be a relationship across genders and therefore straight?

    Cults/Goth
    Sites that encourage Gothic and/or cult lifestyles like female enslavement, body mutilation and similar sites.

    Are Goths still a thing that explicitly need to be name-checked on this list?

  • ||

    I'd guess the alcohol, dating, and alternative lifestyles is simply considered "too adult" for high school students. I'm stumped on the problem with anarchy though.

  • ||

    I'm stumped on the problem with anarchy though.

    In my experience there needs to be a clarification there.

    Blind anarchy and disregard for the rules is something that doesn't necessarily need to be taught or fostered in teenagers.

    Organized and structured opposition to state institutions is something every teenager should have access to, if only to abate the negative effects of the former type.

    I don't know how loudly I'd cry oppression for a 'DIY Columbine' website.

  • ||

    Agreed, mad.casual, but I don't know that the AFA makes much distinction there (or at least they didn't make fine distinctions like that when my web experience was filtered by them).

    There is (was?) a website that let you bounce things off the Great Firewall of China. I wonder if there's something similar for this. I'd love to know if Pitzer's Kropotkin archive is banned.

  • Free Society||

    Blind anarchy and disregard for the rules is something that doesn't necessarily need to be taught or fostered in teenagers.

    Organized and structured opposition to state institutions is something every teenager should have access to, if only to abate the negative effects of the former type.

    Who said anything about blind anything? Anarchism leaves room for organized and structured opposition to the government, it just rules out the necessity of statism. Anarcho-capitalism is like what you as a libertarian believe in, except that it's logically consistent in it's application of the NAP.

  • Free Society||

    It would be a stretch to mistake Reason for anarchist. I don't remember Reason having any ancaps on it's staff.

  • ||

    antigovernment groups[...] and simliar sites

    I can see Reason getting tagged with that. They're certainly not vociferous about it, but they're generally sympathetic to militia groups, or at least portray them as benign.

  • Fracker_Monocle||

    Strange... The list of blocked content almost exactly matches my search history.

  • ||

    Gothic and/or cult lifestyles like female enslavement, body mutilation

    So the Old Testament's right out, then.

    As for the Goths, maybe they're talking about the Visigoths and Ostrogoths. Those guys were Arians, right? Heresy cannot be tolerated.

  • Xeones||

    Christian Mingle was blocked. JDate, oddly enough, was not.

  • Paul.||

    I wonder if they let Christian Mingle through.

    I don't let Christian Mingle through.

  • Paul.||

    But I allow FuckBook.

  • Seamus||

    The censors, probably misled by the words "right wing," slipped up when they added rightwingwatch.org to the blacklist. That's a proggie website that exists to tell us how the sky is falling because of the Koch Brothers, the Religious Right, and other evil people.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Public schools are not meant to foster critical thinking skills, open minds, and reasoned debate. They are, at this point, indoctrination centers meant to brainwash children to adopt the progressive platform.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder if Reason was banned...

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Just the comments.

  • sarcasmic||

    I blame Bush.

  • ||

    So this just showed up on the FB feed from a feminist acquiantance. She tends to be my own canary in the coal mine when it comes to discovering the next wave of feminist bullshit.

    Women praising the idea of women not shaving their legs. Beware, BEWARE!!

  • From the Tundra||

    Meh. Hot chicks will never go for it.

  • WTF||

    Fine. Don't shave; don't wear makeup; don't groom at all; don't exercise; get fat. Just don't expect men to find you attractive.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I always assume that feminists are lesbians. They probably could care less if men find them attractive.

  • WTF||

    Lesbians and unattractive women. They want to diminish the competitive advantage of attractive women by convincing them that fat and hairy legs are 'beautiful'.

  • ||

    Wallowing in pity and poor hygiene while self-loathingly devoting your life to tearing down women who are better looking and more successful?

    Sounds pretty pro-woman to me.

    #TIWTANLW

  • BuSab Agent||

    Does this mean I have to start shaving my legs now to be anti-neo-feminist?! I don't shave my legs currently, because I don't need to. The hair is ultra fine and blond and one basically has to be close enough for sex to see it.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Go on...

  • Aloysious||

    I'm really not trusting myself to respond to that post right now.

  • ||

    No, I officially give you libertarian-lady license to continue not shaving. You are one of the chosen ones, BuSab Agent. Enjoy it.

  • Brett L||

    You are the worst. Everyone knows there are no female libertarians to issue lady licenses.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Shaving your legs is for lightweights. Parvenus, if you will.

    My women pluck their leg hairs, or GTFO.

  • BuSab Agent||

    If you ever want to gauge your pain tolerance, try using an Epilady.

  • ||

    No fucking joke.

    Bonus points if you use it on your underarms.

  • BuSab Agent||

    I did this for a while. Oh dear god! Childbirth is less painful.

  • ||

    Well, on the plus side, I'm now less afraid than I ever have been before of possibly having kids.

  • From the Tundra||

    Yikes! that thing looks scary.

    What about lasers? Wouldn't that be more pleasant?

  • BuSab Agent||

    Yes probably. When I get some cashy money laying around that I don't have any other use for, I plan on lasering my pits so I'll never need to shave again.

  • ||

    At-home laser stuff is newer and more expensive and doesn't work for all hair/skin colors. Not-at-home laser is...not at home, obviously.

    In terms of "pleasant," I don't think there's much "better" than shaving. It's all just time and inconvenience tradeoffs.

  • ||

    The last thing we need is for butch lesbians to start looking like ugly German women. IT'S IN REVELATIONS, PEOPLE!

  • BuSab Agent||

    I was pretty sure butch lesbians ALREADY looked like ugly German women.

  • Homple||

    Ugly German women are no uglier than anywhere else, but the prevalence of good looking women there is a good deal higher than that of the USA.

  • SugarFree||

    I love the praise for Amanda Palmer on the comment thread. She doesn't shave her armpits, but she does shave off her eyebrows. So brave. Much non-conformist. Wow.

  • ||

    Does anyone else find it extremely fascinating and disturbing, that while some primitive urges such as the need for men to spread their seed everywhere still exists in a dangerously overpopulated society, yet a completely natural woman is no longer attractive and in many cases a turn off?

    Said no woman with a BMI under 30.

  • ||

    A completely natural man is a turnoff too. I expect showers.

  • ||

    You expect that from Warty?

  • ||

    No way, society brainwashes women into thinking that they love ungroomed mountain men or something. To assert otherwise is prima facie sexist.

  • Brett L||

    Bath-dodging hipsters with beards are proof that beards and manly smells are an evolutionary advantage. They are filling the mimic ecological niche.

  • BuSab Agent||

    Depends on the ungroomed mountain man... Grizzly Adams=good, SF drunken hobo=ungood, STEVE SMITH=double plus ungood.

  • From the Tundra||

    And right on schedule:

    Ashley Garcia can you make one on thin-shaming?
    12 · June 27 at 5:52am

  • Zeb||

    I'm pretty sure most women woudl find the completely natural man a turnoff as well. Men, for the most part, shave their faces, keep their hair cut, or at least groomed, and bathe regularly. None of those things are any more natural than shaving legs and armpits.
    And there are plenty of men out there who do like a more "natural" woman. The problem seems to be that the men that they want to find them attractive don't.

  • SugarFree||

    What a complete non sequitur. The vast majority of men have sought to keep the vast majority of their ejaculations from impregnating their female partners, and even if they didn't it would have any connection to preference in grooming habits.

    Can you imagine the feminist butthurt is a big, hairy fat-ass that smelled like roadkill goat demanded that women find him attractive in his "natural" state?

  • TallDave||

    Yeah, but you can't win that argument. Whining about how you can't get a woman is unmanly.

    As a man, saying you don't need a woman makes you either gay, asexual, or supremely onanistic.

    As a woman, saying you don't need a man is a sign you are strong and independent and striking a blow against the patriarchy that unfairly forces trillions of dollars in net voluntary/involuntary transfers of wealth on the helpless womynfolk, which leads to the obvious conclusion that the government probably should force (primarily male) taxpayers to support you instead of an individual man who might judge you on your physical attractiveness rather than your ethereal goddess aspect.

  • Bill Dalasio||

  • Brett L||

    They'll probably revoke my nerd card, but I do not give a fuck what Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, and Wil Wheaton are doing.

    I also don't find Dr. Who the least bit interesting.

  • SugarFree||

    I don't either, but she keeps getting vomited up at me from the gullet of pop culture.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    Agreed. I also don't really care about the latest places that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are hanging out. The whole sci-fi celebrity worship is creepier than watching TMZ.

  • KDN||

    . She doesn't shave her armpits, but she does shave off her eyebrows.

    So wait, my grandma avant-garde now? She's been doing that since 1978!

  • SugarFree||

    Just wait until grandma gets into "Brechtian punk cabaret."

  • SugarFree||

    Bertolt Brecht, the German Sex Machine

    "I vill give you a prudent number ov orgasms now. Please do not look away from ze flutlicht!"

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Meh. I dated a girl who didn't shave back in the day. It didn't really bother me one way or the other.

    The funny part of so much of all this is how much of the crap feminists complain about "due to the patriarchy" winds up just women sniping at one another when you look at it.

  • Dweebston||

    I have to think it wouldn't bother you so much until you catch yourself really scoping out bare-legged women in public.

    Or you find yourself fixated on unshaven armpits and mustachioed women.

  • BuSab Agent||

    So Italian women then..

  • Zeb||

    I don't mind unshaven legs too much either. But you either have to shave or not and stick with it. Stubble on legs (or other parts that you want to be soft) is not very sexy.

  • TallDave||

    You neglected the very salient detail of what she didn't shave.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    A gentleman never kisses and tells.

  • ||

    "No social convention should have a say in your IDENTITY!"

    What is "identity" if not a social convention?

  • ||

    Stop using logic to make their world collapse in on itself, you man you.

  • Dweebston||

    I also like that gender's a social construct with no psychological distinctions, but race and sexual preference are inherent identities and therefore sacred.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    Exactly. Think about what they're actually saying. They're not saying that they're being forced to do anything. They're saying "I don't want to be conventionally attractive, but I want to have conventional people be attracted to me!" They're whining like a 3 year old who doesn't get to eat cake AND cookies for dessert.

  • Homple||

    So the heretofore thought to be extinct Shrill Voiced Hairleg will again walk among us.

  • ||

    Michelle Obama is not extinct.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Pretty good signalling device, both for feminists looking to show solidarity and men looking to avoid feminists.

  • sarcasmic||

    Many of the liberal sites accessible to the student fell into the “not rated” category, which was unblocked while many of the conservative sites were in the “political/advocacy group” which is accessible to teachers but not to students.

    Reminds me of a few years ago I was looking at the digital tv guide description of a couple programs. Glenn Beck was described as a talk show host giving his opinion on the news, while Kieth Olberman was described as the host running down the top ten news stories of the day. The left doesn't even pretend to be honest anymore, that is if they ever did.

  • mnarayan||

    Dell's explanation actually strikes me as totally reasonable given that site list (excepting perhaps plannedparenthod.org based on spelling).

  • GILMORE||

    You know what else was 'unrated'?

    Henry and June.

    And the lesbo scenes from which sustained me through some dark times.

    Thank you, MPAA, for fooling my mom into thinking i REALLY liked Henry Miller's novels.

  • Dweebston||

    Quit eroticizing lesbian partnerships, GILMORE. Their love isn't for you.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Am I the only one who thinks this apology amounts to a statement of "We'll do a better job of hiding it from now on" instead of "we actually believe this was wrong"?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Hmmm...

    They're going to add "Uncategorized" sites to the blocked list, and at the same time, they will *temporarily* have a policy of expediting unblocking requests. And a student who experiences delay with an unblocking request may "escalate" the complaint by bringing it to the Board of Education.

    Meanwhile they're putting the issue on their agenda and asking for patience as they work on it.

    I suspect they ran this by their lawyers to avoid liability for censorship, and their goal is to have a policy which is evenhanded...which could mean a broader censorship which operates on both conservatives and liberals.

    But who knows?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    (allowing a direct appeal to the Board of Education sends, I think, a clear message to administrators to resolve complaints quickly, because who wants the Board to hold a meeting about a challenge to your decisions?)

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Yeah, its a total mystery how Dell blocked the designated conservative sights. Happened all by itself! Nobody at the school was involved at all!

    Something tells me the hard drive with all the email traffic on which sites are blocked crashed and can't be recovered. Darn the luck!

    And, I don't see the School Board saying that they will unblock the conservative sites, only that they are going to think about. Real hard.

    On the plus side, the School Board has empowered any student who wants to harass administration with a license to do so, just by fishing around for blocked sites and requesting that they be unblocked. Go to it, kids!

  • ||

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    Your son Johnny has been identified as a student with anti-social and anti-authoritarian tendencies due to his repeated requests to have conservative web sites unblocked in our district. We would like to schedule a parent-teacher conference to discuss what kinds of medication he should be given and what steps can be taken to avoid institutionalization.

  • mr lizard||

    That letter would be delivered via high risk warrant during an armed "quality of life inspection" under exigent circumstances.

  • Paul.||

    the district has pressed Dell SonicWall for more information about how websites are assigned to categories and why there are apparent inconsistencies, as discovered by the student, in classifications particularly along conservative and liberal lines. Many of the liberal sites accessible to the student fell into the “not rated” category, which was unblocked while many of the conservative sites were in the “political/advocacy group”

    The CT school district is likely telling the truth. The CT school district, like any large enterprise subscribes to a service to block websites. Websites are then unblocked on a case-by-case basis by the firewall administrator.

    Shorter: Yes, you're going to find strangely categorized sites based on the provider of the subscription service.

    For instance, our firewall service blocks a whole shitload of stuff based on 'firearms'.

    My guess is, the people who came from the Electronic Frontier Foundation who work for Sonicwall see conservative sites as ideological, and Media Matters as pure social studies material.

  • UnCivilServant||

    As someone who had to manage an internet filter for a government organization, I can verify that who you get your categorisation lists from does matter. But so does policy. We block massive amounts of the internet for mere plebs, but only block malware and porn for 'VIP' category users (classified as commissioners and the IT director). Where you fall in between determines what subset of sites gets blocked. Unblock requests are approved by managers and outside of incidents like "this is a known malware site" we can't veto those decisions.

  • Paul.||

    This is true, however, that's still based on levels via the subscription service.

    We've built a three tier system on our firewall.

    Internet Standard: Tons of shit gets blocked.
    Internet Extra: Tons of shit gets blocked except for Youtube, Facebook, Dropbox, WestSeattleBlog,Icloud and Zenfolio.
    Internet all: Nothing's unblocked.

    In the latter, if you're a VIP, which used to be about 1/2 the hospital *shakes fist*, it's pretty much an all/all/any rule.

    The first relies solely on the subscription service, except for case-by-case websites which are brought to our attention by users.

    The hospital Chaplain came to me one day and asked if I could unblock Wiccan sites (categorized as Occult).

    In the case of the 'internet extra', we built that because we started severely restricting where people could go, but we had marketing people and patient advocacy and trainers that needed access to things like facebook, youtube etc.

    Your garden-variety subscription service can be very strict and very arbitrary.

  • Dweebston||

    a) Why is "occultism" blocked? Is your company worried about ouija sessions on the clock? b) isn't classifying Wiccan that way liable to run afoul of workplace discrimination laws? And c) why does your chaplain want so much of it??

  • Paul.||

    Why is "occultism" blocked? Is your company worried about ouija sessions on the clock?

    My company's not worried about anything. That's the rub as to why I don't think this is much of a scandal.

    The service blocks things that are 'most abused and generally frowned upon in an enterprise corporate environment'.

    We didn't build the service, the service comes pre-built.

    The categorizations are also not defined by us, they're defined by the service provider.

    If we get a complaint that 'x' is blocked, we evaluate it and then if it's either erroneously blocked, or just blocked because it's 'on the edge' but there's a business need for it, we override the filter.

    isn't classifying Wiccan that way liable to run afoul of workplace discrimination laws?

    If when we were asked to unblock it, had I said to the person on the phone, "Be gone foul Temptress! I have no need of your luckly hella, Gypsy woman!" then, probably.

    But we had no issue with it and I placed an exception in the firewall, no lawyers or government intervention required.

    Short version: No enterprise in this day and age is building their own blocklists. They subscribe to a service which does it for them.

  • ||

    What does the EFF have to do with SonicWall? I searched and couldn't find anything.

  • Paul.||

    Nothing, I was being a snarky dick. I was loosely suggesting that the Sonicwall employees may have worked for the EFF at one point (leaning left- so yes, I'm DOUBLE STRETCHING) and didn't check their political beliefs at the door.

  • Mokers||

    Eh, blown a little bit out of proportion.

    1. Lots of fed and state programs out there to help districts pay for ISPs, but they are often tied to requests that the content be filtered. I think this actually goes back to something Clinton signed. They don't want kids looking at porn paid by your tax dollars, so they have certain filtering requirements.

    2. As stated before, unrated means it hasn't been given a rating. that is because there are too many sites out there to rate. Blocking unrated content means that a ton of the internet will simply not be allowed.

    3. Conservatives can help Sonicwall out by helping labeling liberal sites as advocacy: http://cfssupport.sonicwall.co.....Rating.jsp (No registration required!)

    4. Most kids who care about accessing blocked stuff are using proxies as this content filter is URL based only and doesn't look at the actual traffic. Deep packet inspection is needed for any of the filters to have effectiveness.

    5. Kids will just access this shit on their phones.

  • UnCivilServant||

    @4 - Our site classification subscription includes a set for proxy sites, which we block, so the sites stay usable only as long as they remain unknown, which makes it a bit of a catch 22 when it comes to proxy sites.

  • ||

    An enterprising kid could set up a proxy on his home computer, which he could then access from school without ever telling anyone but other students about.

  • Paul.||

    I had a proxy site on my home computer for the first few years I worked here.

    That can be caught if you have a dedicated person watching firewall logs.

  • Mokers||

    Yeah, most have a way to block proxy sites, but if it goes by URL, it is not very effective. People will setup websites on free services that list new proxy urls. It takes a long time to catch and re-classify all the URLs unless you are looking for it specifically. You can be 3-4 days behind and by then kids have figured out new sites. so much effort just to play minecraft!

  • TallDave||

    Yeah, now if they blocked all the sites discussing evolution and then asked for a report about creationism... that would be a real scandal.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Incidentally, I'm curious why they would give students assignments on political topics and then have a policy to block "Political/Advocacy" sites from the HS computer system.

    The only reason this student was able to get access to *any* political/advocacy sites was because they showed him liberal advocacy sites in apparent violation of their own policy.

    If they, in the interest of impartiality, block liberal as well as conservative advocacy sites, why are they giving assignments which involve checking those sites?

  • Mokers||

    Incidentally, I'm curious why they would give students assignments on political topics and then have a policy to block "Political/Advocacy" sites from the HS computer system.

    The teacher who assigned the project might not be aware that there is a block in place. The filter could be implemented on a district basis and not a school by school basis. Or the teachers may be on a subnet that is not blocked or gives freer access.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    The teacher who assigned the project might not be aware that there is a block in place.

    If he/she/it made the assignment without checking to see what kind of resources were available, or only looked at liberal sites . . .

    well, then he/she/it should be fired for incompetence.

  • ||

    Many of the liberal sites accessible to the student fell into the “not rated” category, which was unblocked while many of the conservative sites were in the “political/advocacy group” which is accessible to teachers but not to students.

    I don't see how a teacher could be expected to know that a site available to him/her wasn't also available to his/her students. It's a lot to ask that they go through all the motions of writing the students' papers for them just to ensure the various websites are accessible.

  • Zeb||

    I think that calling that incompetence is a bit much. They might have looked at home, or, as several people have suggested, they might have less filtered access at the school than the students have.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Also recall - the District's filtering policy lets teachers get to 'Political/Advocacy' sites, so the Teacher might not be aware that these sites were blocked for the students. Though I doubt they ever checked those who advocated against rabid gun control/disarmament.

  • Paul.||

    This. My guess is your average teacher isn't even aware of the intricacies of the filtering rules.

    "I can get to it, so what's the big deal?"

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Good points. I withdraw my call for firing the teacher, and will be satisfied with firing school administrators.

    Choose 'em by lot. Since they never exercise any judgment, they are interchangeable personnel units anyway, so what difference, at this point, does it make which ones are fired?

  • Paul.||

    Good points. I withdraw my call for firing the teacher, and will be satisfied with firing school administrators.

    Even that's harsh, in my opinion. They just need to be open, say they're reviewing the policy and the filtering service, and they need to remain open any time a student finds a spurious website blocked.

    If I were them, I'd have a solid policy on why they would block 'political advocacy' at all.

  • ||

    Because children's young, moist brains might be unduly influenced by the hateful lies hateful people might write on their hateful websites, if allowed unfettered access without the supervision of TOP MEN gatekeepers.

  • widget||

    the district has pressed Dell SonicWall for more information about how websites are assigned to categories...

    The censorship came right out the box from Dell.

  • widget||

    There is some censorship going on that is applied to all of us, whether the agents of the censorship work for governments or just don't want to be in their government's bulls-eye. I spent several hours hunting around for remnants the blog South Africa Sucks after reading this from Moldbug.

    http://unqualified-reservation.....jenny.html

    It was the censorship itself that made me curious. I swear, that was all it was.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I spent several hours hunting around for remnants the blog South Africa Sucks

    You need a better hobby.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    I don't know. I'm pretty intrigued by "[inventive slur]," "[Arabized expletive]," "govern[slur]," and of course "[expletive] from liberal [expletive] [expletive] like Al [expletive] and Jenny [slur-expletive]."

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "You [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] asshole, why don't you [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep]."

  • widget||

    "Self-censorship?"

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    huh?

  • widget||

    I've tried to organize my life around having my work and hobby be the same. If nothing else, this keeps my head from exploding.

  • Paul.||

    If only my hobby were reading trouble tickets written in broken english, and explaining carefully, to the transition team that yes, in fact we do have branch offices and you're going to be getting calls from them in 8 days when I'm sitting poolside with a pitcher of margaritas.

    Now if I only had a pool girl I could ogle.

  • Sevo||

    I haven't checked all the comments; has the turd posted that this is another fake scandal?

  • ||

    Not yet. Give him some time to get his diaper changed.

  • Paul.||

    The way you know if it's a real scandal or not, is by how loudly they scream "fake scandal".

    If there is one real scandal this administration is involved with, it's Benghazi, and that's the one they scream loudest about.

  • Paul.||

    Oh shit, wrong thread.

  • Libertarian||

    I guess my reading comprehension isn't as good as I thought it was. The only place I see a reference to "apologizes" is in the Reason headline for this post.

  • TallDave||

    To be fair, we should have seen this coming given the official motto of the Connecticut public school system: "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH".

  • keystoneclimber||

    Oh, I'm sorry for brainwashing your children with our Libtard agenda. News flash... maybe you should consider picking your own web filter criteria rather than allowing someone else to do it for you. Oh right, I forgot about that whole plausible deniability thing.

  • Seth Lutz||

    Well, looks like I can't look at Reason at my HS.

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