Katie – Several students who spoke at the Katie ISD board meeting on Monday said that they will not remain silent until what they believe to be “discrimination against LGBTQ through Internet policy” ends.
School district administrators stated that the current policy is to protect all students.
“There is no doubt that this is discriminatory,” said Cameron Samuels, a senior at Seven Lakes High School.
Samuel was referring to the Katie ISD Internet policy, which the school district administrator said is consistent with the Children’s Internet Protection Act or CIPA.
The policy blocks access to websites based on content deemed inappropriate, but Samuels said it also filters out important access to LGBTQ resources.
“When students are on the verge of suicide, they must have a suicide lifeline like Project Trevor,” Samuel said.
He said that when Katy ISD students tried to use the school’s Internet to access The Trevor Project and other websites for the LGBTQ community, they received rejection messages.
Katie ISD officials issued the following statement in response to this anger:
“The school district provides a variety of communication and technical resources that are consistent with its educational goals and comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Because there are billions of websites on the World Wide Web, the content provided to students on school days is provided by a third-party school platform Review and filter to ensure compliance with CIPA. The filtering process takes into account all material that may be found on the site, including hyperlinks to external content, such as emails, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications-these spaces are usually Occupied by minors and adults, CIPA discourages use. You can find the district’s guidelines for the responsible use of student technology here.
Katy ISD did not say that it blocked access to websites only because they targeted LGBTQ issues, but involved “human sexual behavior,” as shown in a message that clearly restricted access to the Human Rights Movement website.
Samuels firmly believes that the current policy sends a strong message in the wrong direction.
“They are not, they are not considered themselves,” Samuel said.
In addition to the petition signed by more than 1,000 people, the students also submitted formal requests to the technical department, hoping that there would be exceptions to the Internet policy. There is no news as to whether and when it will happen.
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