As the Internet expands, educational institutions have become interested in the medium for the purpose of expanding learning opportunities. Information that may be objectionable to some members of the community, however, would then be available to children in schools with Internet access. Attempts to regulate the content of the Internet have yet to pass a First Amendment challenge. Concern over what children will be exposed to when the Internet is introduced in the classroom is currently being addressed by educators and legislators alike. The Communications Decency Act was the first to attempt to address the issue of Internet access in the classroom by legislators and failed to pass a First Amendment challenge. Now, the battle is moving from the national level to the state level. An alternative to state or federal regulation is the use of software filters. These would allow the school board or the individual instructor to 'program' the Internet so students would only be able to access websites approved for, and applicable to, the classroom topic. Software filters are currently the best tool in existence to ensure that students will learn the Internet skills necessary to be competitive in the world market and to help educators teach values intrinsic to an evolved society.
Peter G. Drever III, The Best of Both Worlds: Financing Software Filters for the Classroom and Avoiding First Amendment Liability, 16 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 659 (1998)