Education Week, Aug. 4, 1999

As the use of the internet in schools has increased, so, too, has the number of states passing or considering bills that require public schools to install filters to block inappropriate materials.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Conference of State Legislatures say 15 states so far have approved laws that in one way or another regulate the way schools use the internet. Even Congress is looking at legislation that would mandate filters for public schools.

But some groups say local school districts, not state or federal governments, should be the ones to decide whether filtering is right for their schools and to what extent.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation says it’s a matter of free speech, and because schools are government-funded entities, that same government shouldn’t be working to suppress free speech.