A short while ago, the ACLU of Minnesota received a request via a form on our website to have a speaker go to a Greenway Student Pride event to talk about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights. Greenway High School is in Coleraine in northern Minnesota.
Imagine my surprise when I wrote to the student about the request and received a rejection email from his school stating that "Your email was rejected because it may have contained content that violates school policies. A record has been kept and logged." I tried re-sending the email a few times – each time I took out a different part of the email. My email finally went through when I took out the words "Gay and Lesbian."
Greenway High School blocked an email to a student because it had the word Gay in it.
This is not an entirely new issue to the ACLU. A few years ago we launched a campaign called Don't Filter Me, where we sent letters to schools around the country that used a filtering software that blocked student's access to websites that talked about LGBT rights. There were only a few schools identified in Minnesota that used this software and Greenway High School wasn't one of them.