Christian schools accused of blocking gay sites
22 October 2004AMSTERDAM — Some Christian schools in the Netherlands have been accused of using filter programs on classroom computers to block access to websites about homosexuality and safe sex.
22 October 2004
AMSTERDAM — Some Christian schools in the Netherlands have been accused of using filter programs on classroom computers to block access to websites about homosexuality and safe sex.
MPs of the small Democrat D66 party have called on Education Minister Maria van der Heaven to make a statement on the issue and find out how many schools are blocking sites for young gay people.
D66 says in support of its claims that internet provider Zeelandnet provides a spam filter called Kliksafe, which not only blocks access to porn sites, but also to websites with educational information for gay people and about safe sex.
The party claims this spam filter is in great demand among schools that adhere to the philosophy of the Protestant Dutch Reformed Chuch.
Sites being blocked by schools include the homepage of gay magazine Expreszo and gay newspaper Gaykrant. The homepage of youth broadcaster BNN is also on the banned list.
There was an outcry last week when it was revealed that a special school edition of Expreszo — which was partly funded by the Education Ministry — was dumped in the garbage by some schools.
The issue was sent to schools to help tackle discrimination against gay students and teachers. But the boards of several schools said the content rather than the subject matter itself was unsuitable.
But D66 feels schools are being deliberately obstructive. "Students must be given the opportunity to find information for themselves on the subjects that concern them," a D66 spokesman for D66 said.
"It is both naive and discriminatory to act as if homosexuality does not exist," he said on behalf of D66 MP Lousewies van der Laan.
[© Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news, homosexuality and Dutch schools