Patch reported last week that Andrew Lampart, a senior at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, CT, reported he was not able to access conservative or right-leaning websites on his school’s computer system.
Now the issue has gone state-wide, with Lawrence F. Cafero, House Republican Leader, voicing his concern over the state’s policy on public school students’ access to information online.
“It appears that there is not a consistent policy in these matters and I believe a clearer explanation is warranted,” Cafero wrote in an open letter to Stefan Pryor, Commissioner of Education.
Lambert reported being unable to access the websites of Second Amendment groups, anti-abortion and traditional marriage organizations and the Connecticut Republican Party. He said he had no difficulty accessing the Connecticut Democratic Party website or pro-abortion sites.
In a statement released following Lambert’s formal complaint, the Superintendent of the School District, Jody Ian Goeler, said the internet filter “satisfies requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act.”
“The 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. The district does not block individual sites, only categories of websites,” continued Goeler.
It seems this did not satisfy Cafero, though. “It was not clear from the various reports how the determination to block certain sites and allow access to others was made,” he said in the open letter.
“If necessary, the legislature must be prepared to act if it appears there is a public policy that needs to be addressed,” Cafero wrote in the final draft of the letter.