The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 30 years ago that public schools cannot engage in viewpoint-based censorship of library books. Schools can keep books off the shelves if they are poorly written or inappropriate for a particular age group, but they cannot limit access to Harry Potter books out of a concern they glorify witchcraft, or remove Kurt Vonnegut novels because they perceive the books to be anti-American, the court held in Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District v. Pico.
That also means that if a library includes novels about star-crossed teenagers in love, it can’t selectively remove similar novels about gay and lesbian teenage romance. If an elementary school library includes children’s books designed to teach kids about family relationships, it can’t remove similar books discussing families with same-sex parents.
Technology may have changed since that ruling, but the law has not. Schools cannot block access to information on the Internet any more than they can engage in viewpoint-based discrimination toward the books on the shelves.
Full Text: Education Week: The Legal Cost of Improper Internet Censorship.