JEFFERSON CITY—In yet another instance where the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is acting in a manner where both a Christian worldview and biblical principles of living are undermined, a court is being asked to protect students’ access to educational websites on gay, lesbian and transgender issues.
The target this time is the Camdenton R-III School District, which is facing a federal lawsuit aimed at stopping the school’s Internet filtering software from blocking access to dozens of these sites, according to the Associated Press (AP).
“This is just one more attempt by a secular culture to normalize homosexuality within the culture,” said David Krueger, chairman, Christian Life Commission, Missouri Baptist Convention, and pastor, First Baptist Church, Linn.
David Cortman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund in Atlanta, called this sort of tactic heavy-handed.
“School districts should not be bullied into taking the side of homosexual activists,” Cortman said. “Parents rightly believe that public schools are a place for education, not sexual indoctrination based on the radical agenda of the ACLU.”
“I think the ACLU is the biggest political/legal bully in the country right now,” he said.
The object of the ACLU’s wrath within a national campaign is Camdenton Supt. Tim Hadfield, who said the district’s system of filtering Internet sites does not violate student rights, the AP reported. He said the district does block inappropriate sites and will continue to do so, the AP reported.
Cortman said Camdenton has the right to set the standards for its own curriculum (what the students see and are taught). He said the ACLU does not have standing “because there’s no legal requirement that the school district allow private groups to be accessed in their own internal Internet access programs. So there’s no constitutional right to demand that school districts’ websites are opened up to your private group.”
Furthermore, Krueger said, it is none of the ACLU’s business what students have access to in this area, considering the various human filters that are in place.
“This is a family issue,” he said. “If students have questions about homosexuality, they ought to be talking to parents about that. That’s why school counselors are there, for them to deal with those kinds of issues.
“As far as the educational sites, my guess is that the vast majority of these sites are nothing less than propaganda sites that promote, extol, celebrate, homosexuality, and don’t deal with it honestly. The way these educational sites are going to deal with the issue is simply by telling students, ‘It’s OK. It’s a perfectly permissible lifestyle.’ And of course anybody who reads the Word of God understands that this is not a permissible sexual lifestyle. Anything that is outside a husband/wife relationship through marriage for us is simply indefensible.”
Krueger said he believes most Missouri Baptists would agree with him that the principle in this case is local control.
“That local community needs to decide what is appropriate and inappropriate for their students to see,” he said.
ALLEN PALMERI/associate editor