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Freedom of Information and Inquiry in K-12 Educati
RET is very fortunate to have the winner of the 2010 Tennessee Library Association Freedom of Information Award as our roundtable speaker this Sunday! Talk starts at 10:30 but come early for coffee and snacks.

Title: Freedom of Information and Inquiry in K-12 Education. LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) issues and censorship.

Presenter: Karyn Storts Brinks

Location: Pelissippi State College, Goins Administration building. Annex off of the cafeteria.

The School system of Knox County, like all other public schools who wish to be eligible for federal E-rate funding, has an Internet filtering system in place. In August of 2007, in my role as School Media Specialist at Fulton High School, I began a process of inquiry in an attempt to resolve what seemed to be erroneous over-filtering of certain websites. The sites on which I initially focused in this inquiry were those of the Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org) and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (www.glsen.org). The blocking of these sites by our filtering contract--along with all others that referenced LGBT issues in an informative, remotely positive way--was my catalyst for a frustrating journey through a hierarchy of contacts in the process of seeking satisfactory access to information for my students. This access was finally achieved through an ACLU lawsuit, "Franks v. Metropolitan Board of Public Education", in August of 2009.

Posted by dbuck
Feb. 02, 2010