Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Web of Deceit? School District's Internet Filter Chooses Sides in Gun "Debate"

Friday, June 20, 2014

Most schools these days like to trumpet their support of “critical thinking.”  For at least one high school in Connecticut, however, that apparently means thinking that criticizes only one side of a contested issue.

In May, student Andrew Lampart of Nonnewaug High School was using the school’s internet service to gather information for an assigned debate on gun control, when he discovered a bias in the school’s filter.  The censorship software the school uses to determine school-inappropriate sites blocked access to NRA’s and other pro-gun groups’ websites but allowed access to the sites of Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety and other gun control groups.

Intrigued by the disparity, Lampart went on to test the filter’s bias by attempting to access sites on opposing sides of other politically contentious issues.  In several instances, Lampart found that websites for groups taking a position on one side of an issue were blocked, while corresponding sites for organizations taking the opposite position remained available.

Lampart brought the matter to the attention of Regional School District 14 Superintendent Jody Ian Goeler, who told him that the filter is necessary to block “hate speech.”  When the problems persisted, Lampart took his concerns before a meeting of the school district’s Board of Education.

On Thursday, the superintendent released a letter to the school community in an attempt to address the problem.  Goeler explained that the intention of the filter is to “protect minors from potentially harmful or inappropriate content.”  According the superintendent this includes, “pornography, illegal drugs, gambling, violence/hate/racism, cults/the occult, to name a few.”

Goeler went on to explain that websites are also blocked if they are categorized by the firewall as “political/advocacy group.”  However, the superintendent admitted, “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’.”

Apparently, somewhere along this unfortunate chain of events, someone determined that information that supports a robust right to arms is “advocacy”--or worse, “hate speech”--while information that promotes restrictions on the right is merely “information.”  In other words, the responsible individuals don’t just believe the pro-gun side is on the wrong side of the debate, they refuse to recognize the debate even exists.  A more counterproductive approach to education is hard to imagine.

We don’t know if the district’s web filter blocks dictionary.com, but just in case, here’s how it defines “debate”:  “a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints” (emphasis added).  To be sure, if you search enough anti-gun websites, you will find some differences.  Some seek to raise funds through exploitive emotional appeals.  Others assault the reader with aggressive hyperbole and slanderous fear-mongering.  Still others use a mixture of arrogant condescension with elaborate misrepresentations of statistics and legal authority.  To say they have opposing viewpoints, however, is a stretch.  Ultimately, all embrace the concept of civilian disarmament.

While the filter may satisfy certain notions of political correctness, it does nothing to enhance the ability of students to gain a sophisticated and comprehensive view of the issues.  Whether or not this is a good thing depends on what the purpose of a public high school is considered to be.  If it’s a place for learning, the filter is counterproductive.  If it’s merely a place to be indoctrinated into a rigid social and political orthodoxy, the filter is indispensible.

For those fortunate enough to have unfettered access to information, we welcome you to this site.  While it’s true we believe one side of the debate has the better arguments, we also report on what the opposition has to say, usually with links to their materials.  Unlike some, we believe that the more readers are acquainted with the facts, the more likely they are to agree with our viewpoint.  Either way, we’re willing to let you make up your own mind.

So far, the school is blaming the “filtering service provider” for the “apparent inconsistencies.”  Whatever the case, we hope Goeler follows through on his assertion that “the school 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.”  In the meantime, the lopsided accessibility of information continues.  This leaves the district in a very precarious position regarding the First Amendment, a topic which we suggest they research, should their filter allow it.

TRENDING NOW
The Supreme Court Strikes Down Law that Targeted Gun Owners’ Speech

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Supreme Court Strikes Down Law that Targeted Gun Owners’ Speech

The Supreme Court struck down a Minnesota law that forbade voters from wearing “political insignias” at polling places after the law was challenged by a voter who was told he must remove or cover his ...

D.C. Area Witches Unite for Gun Control, Hurl Curses at the NRA

News  

Friday, June 15, 2018

D.C. Area Witches Unite for Gun Control, Hurl Curses at the NRA

Gun control advocates can now boast of a new group of allies joining their dubious coalition: witches. It kind of makes sense. We all know that gun control is based mainly on magical thinking. Its advocates, after ...

Pennsylvania: House Committee to Consider Multiple Gun Control Bills Tomorrow

Monday, June 18, 2018

Pennsylvania: House Committee to Consider Multiple Gun Control Bills Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider several gun control bills that would only punish law-abiding gun owners.

The Rolling Stone Continues its Inaccurate Anti-NRA Reporting

News  

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Rolling Stone Continues its Inaccurate Anti-NRA Reporting

It is by no means a closely held secret that Rolling Stone magazine has aggressively promoted an anti-gun agenda for many decades.  It started in 1980, with the death of John Lennon at the hands of ...

Not So Breaking News: Trio of Anti-Gun Orgs Rehash Worn-Out Gun Control Policies

News  

Friday, June 15, 2018

Not So Breaking News: Trio of Anti-Gun Orgs Rehash Worn-Out Gun Control Policies

This week the press gleefully reported the anti-gun pronouncements of a trio of diverse special interest groups. The Washington Post announced, “Frustrated [American Medical Association] adopts sweeping policies to cut gun violence.” In a separate ...

Oregon: Gun Ban Initiative Ballot Title Finalized

Friday, May 25, 2018

Oregon: Gun Ban Initiative Ballot Title Finalized

On May 23rd, the ballot title for Initiative Petition 43 was certified by the state Attorney General.  This final ballot title comes after over 1,000 comments were submitted on the previously proposed ballot title.  Initiative proponents will ...

A Royal Pain: UK Malcontents Throw Tantrum over Prince George's Toy Gun

News  

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Royal Pain: UK Malcontents Throw Tantrum over Prince George's Toy Gun

The United Kingdom’s legions of miserable scolds are at it again. A mere two weeks after admonishing an English national team soccer player for a firearm tattoo, the anti-gun whiners have found a new target. This time ...

California Farmer Has Guns Confiscated and Faces Felony Charges After Trying to Register Rifle

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, June 8, 2018

California Farmer Has Guns Confiscated and Faces Felony Charges After Trying to Register Rifle

California residents attempting to comply with the Golden State’s ever-increasing swamp of firearms laws and regulations should take warning. According to a report out of Bakersfield, a good faith effort to obey the state’s labyrinthine ...

California: Deadline to Register or Modify “Assault Weapons” is Rapidly Approaching

Thursday, June 14, 2018

California: Deadline to Register or Modify “Assault Weapons” is Rapidly Approaching

The deadline for gun owners to register their firearms as “assault weapons” or modify them to be compliant with the restrictions that resulted from SB 880 and AB 1135 (2016) must be completed by 11:59:59 ...

Delaware: Contact Your Senator Immediately in Opposition to Gun Ban Legislation

Friday, June 15, 2018

Delaware: Contact Your Senator Immediately in Opposition to Gun Ban Legislation

On Tuesday, June 19, the Delaware Senate could consider legislation (Senate Bill 163) that would ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms in Delaware.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.