Editor’s Note: The excuse giving by the school district is that these sites fell under the ‘political/advocacy group’ category, which is only accessible by teachers. Even if the school blocked all sites that should fall into this category, which they clearly did not, it would still be an impetuous to the children’s educations.
One of the lessons that Andrew Lampart learned from being on his school’s debate team was to gather facts for both sides of an argument. So last month when his law class was instructed to prepare for a debate on gun control, Andrew went online using the school’s Internet service.
“I knew it was important to get facts for both sides of the case,” said the 18-year-old at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Connecticut.
When Andrew tried to log onto the National Rifle Association’s website, he realized there was a problem – a big problem.
“Their website was blocked,” he told me. Andrew decided to try the Second Amendment Foundation’s website. That too, was blocked.
His curiosity got the best of him – so Andrew tried logging on to several pro-gun control websites. Imagine his surprise when he discovered the pro-gun control websites were not blocked.
“I became curious as to why one side was blocked and the other side was not,” he said.
Andrew decided to set aside his debate preparation and started researching other conservative websites. He soon discovered that he had unfettered access to liberal websites, but conservative websites were blocked.
For example, the Connecticut Republican Party website was blocked. The Connecticut Democratic Party website was not blocked. National Right to Life was blocked, but Planned Parenthood was not blocked. Connecticut Family, a pro-traditional marriage group, was blocked, but LGBT Nation was not blocked.
Andrew found that even Pope Francis was blocked from the school’s web service. But although he could not access the Vatican website, the school allowed him to access an Islamic website.
“This is really border line indoctrination,” Andrew told me. “Schools are supposed to be fair and balanced towards all ways of thinking. It’s supposed to encourage students to formulate their own opinions. Students aren’t able to do that here at the school because they are only being fed one side of the issue.”
Andrew gathered his evidence and requested a meeting with the principal. The principal referred him to the superintendent, which he did. The superintendent promised to look into the matter and fix the problem.
“I gave him a week to fix the problem,” Andrew said. “But nothing had been done.”
So last Monday, Andrew took his mountain of evidence to the school board.
“They seemed surprised,” he said. “They told me they were going to look into the problem.”
Since the school board didn’t resolve the problem, I decided to take a crack at it.