White supremacist groups target children online

With Martin Luther King Day coming up, many teachers will be assigning projects on African-American historical figures. With that in mind, now is good time to teach students a valuable lesson about the internet, reports the San Antonio Express: Don’t believe everything you read. According to Heidi Beirich, a spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center, white supremacist groups often publish web sites with what appears to be legitimate information but is really just propaganda. Type Martin Luther King into Google, for example, and one of the first three sites listed will be www.martinlutherking.org, a site that advertises itself as “the truth about Martin Luther King” and “a valuable resource for teachers and students alike.” The site is produced by Stormfront, a white-supremacist, neo-Nazi group. And the “facts” presented are not at all factual, Beirich said. “[The site posts] things that look like real source material, but they’re not so there’s no way to tell if you’re not pretty educated or sophisticated,” she said. “Sometimes kids can’t tell what is legitimate and what is not.” Michael Dorsey of the Houston Independent School District said sites such as these are why the school district has aggressive filtering software on school computers. It’s also why Houston-area teachers are encouraged to guide students to pre-approved resource sites, he said…

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