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College blocks students from accessing LGBT sites

Naith Payton January 13, 2015
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Henley College Coventry has blocked its students from accessing some sites because of their LGBT content.

Students who tried to browse the Birmingham Pride website were met with the message “ACCESS DENIED Request denied by Henley College Coventry”. It gave the reason for the block as “Category ‘Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interest’ denied by WebBlocker policy”.

PinkNews is still accessible, but sites such as Pride London and Birmingham LGBT Centre are blocked.

LGBTQ Officer for the college Aimee Challenor, 17, told Pink News she had asked a member of staff why the sites were blocked and was told it was a new filtering system in place, but was given no explanation about why LGBT sites in particular were no longer accessible.

Ms Challenor, who is studying Creative Digital Media Production and describes herself as a transgender student, said: “I believe that blocking these sites is unjust and constitutes homophobia. I also echo the concerns of other students who have said that it sends the wrong message to people that are questioning their sexuality or gender identity.

“It opens up homophobia within the college and sends the message that this is acceptable, which obviously it isn’t.”

On their website, Henley College say: “We are committed to ensuring fair and equal opportunity for all students, staff and users of College services in all aspects of College life, the promotion of equality and celebration of diversity, and the elimination of discrimination and harassment.”

PinkNews has approached the college for comment.

Related topics: college, Coventry, Education, students

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