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Schools Settle With ACLU on Gay Websites

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) - A central Missouri school district reached a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union over the district's Internet filtering software that blocks access to websites that provide information on gay, lesbian and transgender issues.

The Camdenton R-III School District will stop blocking the sites, will submit to monitoring for 18 months and will pay $125,000 in legal fees and costs, under the settlement.

The Camdenton school board approved the settlement Tuesday and it was filed in Federal Court Wednesday.

The ACLU sued the district in August 2011 on behalf of several gay rights organizations including the Matthew Shepard Foundation; Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and Dignity Inc.

The ACLU claimed blocking the information violates the students' right to free speech.

The lawsuit is part of a national campaign by the ACLU to get schools to stop blocking such websites.

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