ADF files brief in defense of Mo. school district sued for protecting students from pornACLU sued district over filter that screens out sexually explicit Web content
Monday, September 12, 2011
ADF sent school officials a letter last month urging them not to succumb to the ACLU’s demands, which would expose children to pornography under the guise of a concern about censorship and bullying.
“No school district should be bullied into exposing children to sexually graphic material,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “It’s reprehensible that the ACLU and Yale Law School are more concerned about forwarding an agenda that exposes children to harm than they are about protecting those children. Those who claim to oppose bullying should not be bullies themselves. Removing porn filters does nothing to end bullying.”
The ACLU threatened Camdenton and numerous other school districts as part of the ACLU’s “Don’t Filter Me” campaign, a joint endeavor with Yale Law School that demands the deactivation of various Web filters that block sexually explicit content at public schools. When Camdenton instead chose to continue protecting students, the ACLU filed suit.
The ADF brief explains that the Children’s Internet Protection Act passed by Congress obligates the district to protect its students from Internet materials that are “harmful to minors.” The brief lists numerous harmful sites to which students would be exposed if Camdenton’s filter was removed, including access to photos of nude men and women; ads for “gay” male escorts and masseurs; the website of an organization that hosts sex parties; a resource page with a porn video; forums that discuss pornography; a link to a sex toy shop; and more.
Last month, ADF sent Camdenton and six other districts letters arguing that the ACLU’s claims were irresponsible and lacked legal merit, explaining that districts have broad authority over what materials students may access on the Internet and that bowing down to the ACLU’s demands could result in the districts violating state laws that prohibit the distribution of harmful sexual materials to minors.
“Parents expect schools to be places where their children are exposed to a good education, not pornography,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Masking this as a concern for censorship is ridiculous.”
Michael Whitehead of Kansas City, one of more than 2,000 attorneys in the ADF alliance, is serving as local counsel in the lawsuit Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays v. Camdenton R-III School District, which was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Central Division.
- Pronunciation guide: Tedesco (Tuh-DESS’-ko)