Tennessee public schools are digging a mighty deep hole. Start with a Constitutional breach, add pro-American rhetoric, and top it off with plenty of gay sex and school children. Hey! Now they're up to their nosehairs in bad press, the attention of the Feds, and kids asking parents questions about issues far beyond their maturity levels. Good times.
We saw this story then did our own digging. What's up is public schools in the Knox County Schools and Metro Nashville Public Schools are filtering access to websites that discuss lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. However they don't block access to sites that advocate therapy to, basically, learn how to not be gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans.
Certainly varying discrimination and filtering is going on all over the country, but the difference is those incidents aren't getting press. Call it Tennessee's lucky day. The world is watching as the school administrators blame their Internet filter service. And they might've gotten away with that humdinger if it weren't for those delightful gay-reparative websites the "filters" accidentally allow.
Oh, and then there's the black-and-white English clearly stating in the schools' contracts that the schools decide what to filter, not the Internet Service, which in this case is Education Networks of America. An attorney for ENA already handed both districts their asses in an immediate public response.
Hey, Tennessee school folk? It's not legal to mess with the Constitution, but it's definitely uncool to mess with the Constituion then try to blame someone else.
As we're barely off the heels of the gay marriage issue in America (Iowa Supreme Court and Vermont are about to approve gay marriage, and the California Supreme Court is about to make its ruling), the American Civil Liberties Union says this situation is viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment. The schools decided what to block, the choices were discriminatory, and those schools are so busted.
Filtering, by the way, is a less inflammatory way to say censoring. It was intentional that the impact of censorship on the Tennessee school children was not opinionated in this story. We leave that to you. Is Tennessee's filterning un-American? Or just uncool? And what does this mean to the kids?