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ACLU to Gwinnett Schools: Legal Action is Closing In

In a letter dated June 9, the ACLU of Georgia told the Gwinnett County school district that it intends to move forward with a lawsuit if by June 13 the organization hasn't heard from them.

ACLU to Gwinnett Schools: Legal Action is Closing In

(Editor's Note: This article was originally published June 9, 2011.)

The ACLU of Georgia is growing more and more concerned regarding Gwinnett County Public Schools' lack of contact with the organization about LGBT-related filters on district-wide computers.

On the heels of an initial demand letter on June 1, the ACLU of Georgia has written its second letter to the Gwinnett County school district today, June 9.

"Although Gwinnett County Public Schools has made several statements to the press, we have yet to receive any response to our letter," said the ACLU of Georgia in the letter to Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks.

The first letter gave the school district a week to comply. That week came and went, but Chara Jackson, legal director for ACLU of Georgia, said then that she wanted to give the district time to comply.

Another week has gone by, and as of June 8, the school district still had not resolved the issue, according to Jorge Quintana, a spokesman for Gwinnett County schools.

"The school district is reviewing the ACLU's concerns in this matter," Quintana said at 4:00 p.m., June 9.

In the second letter, ACLU of Georgia gives the school district a June 13 deadline -- Monday -- to contact it. It reads, in part:

"Please contact me no later than June 13, 2011, to indicate whether Gwinnett County Public Schools intends to remove the 'LGBT' filter in compliance with its legal obligations. If we are forced to resolve this issue through litigation, we intend to seek reimbursement for any attorney time spent after that date."

Based on statements to the media, the ACLU of Georgia said in the June 9 letter that it "appears that the school district is under the misimpression that the 'LGBT' filter is somehow required by the Children's Online Protection Act (CIPA)"

The letter also urges the school district to contact Blue Coat, the company that made the filtering software, to "dispel any confusion you have about how the 'LGBT' filter operates." Blue Coat has also been asked to contact the school district.

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