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Not fast enough. The only reason the Supreme Court upheld CIPA was the
presumption that if the filter was blocking access to appropriate material
it could be PROMPTLY overridden to provide access.

This process assumes that the filtering company has made a correct decision
and that a professionally trained librarian is not competent in deciding the
appropriateness of material for students. This is an insult to librarians.
The decisions of the filtering companies are made based on a technical
search system or by a low-level staff person.

The filtering program selected by a district should have the capability of
allowing selected staff people to make temporarily override the filter. Any
temporary override decisions would be recorded. ALL school librarians and
other staff in the building should have the ability and authority to
independently make a decision to temporarily override the filter and make
the decision to provide access to a student. Yeah, someone will make a
mistake. But the filtering company also makes lots of mistakes and I would
rather place my trust in a librarian.

The following approach is appropriate for permanent unblocking actions.


> Date:    Thu, 4 Jan 2007 13:28:20 -0600
> From:    "Gruel, Colleen" <COLLEEN.GRUEL@MINNETONKA.K12.MN.US>
> Subject: Internet Filtering Release Process for Public Schools
> Dear LM NET,
> I am looking for some suggestions to expedite our current Internet
> Filtering Release procedures.  Our process goes like this:
> 1.  A staff member requests for a site to be blocked or allowed to view=20
> 2.  They want to use or block the site for an instructional purpose so
> they contact the media specialist
> 3.  If the media specialist concurs, they send the request to their
> building principal and then on to another media specialist to review.=20
> 4. They request goes to the technology director and then goes to the
> technician in charge of the filter software (Barracuda) to release or
> block the site.

Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social
Cruelty, Threats, and Distress, a resource for educators, is now available
online at

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn to Use the
Internet Safely and Responsibly. Jossey-Bass (March 16, 2007)

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