This week, it was revealed that Nonnewaug High School in Connecticut had access to conservative and religious websites blocked for students conducting academic research. Today, Andrew Lampart, the whistleblowing student, is continuing to speak out. In an exclusive interview with 54° 40′ Or Fight!, Lampart shared what a whirlwind this has caused over the past few days, his shock at his discovery of the blocked websites, and his determination to see justice done by the school board.
Appropriately, the first question of the interview via Skype, regarding how much attention he’d received for standing up for himself, was interrupted by another phone call. Mr. Lampart also stated that he may have to cut the interview short due to a photographer arriving soon. All this as he prepares for his high school graduation on Saturday. He remains resolute, however, despite the hectic activity. “It’s a challenge to keep up … it’s really blown up over the past day and a half. It’s been tough to keep up with all the phone calls, requests, and thank you notes.”
“I’m just surprised that standing up for what you believe in garners national attention, to be honest.”
The issues started with Lampart trying to do research for a proposed debate on gun control in class – a timely issue for his law class. Lampart says that the debate, ironically, never occurred due to a scheduling issue. However, what he discovered in preparing for the debate was much bigger than what happened in class.
“I was absolutely disgusted when I saw the extent this went to. At first, I wasn’t expecting this to be what it was, I just thought it was a strange coincidence. But as I got further into it, it hit me that this isn’t just a random coincidence.”
When asked about Christianity.com and the official Vatican website, Lampart was reluctant to say that they were specifically deemed ‘hate speech’, but did state that that was the categorical explanation given. “According to the Superintendant, yes.”
Lampart first approached the Superintendant asking what the policy was on blocking websites in school, and he was told that certain categories were blocked such as gaming sites and other inappropriate material. He was also told some sites were blocked to prevent “hate speech from leaking into the school.” Lampart then showed the Superintendant several screen shots of blocked sites, including the Vatican. “He appeared shocked, however, he didn’t do anything about it.”
After a week of not hearing anything further, Lampart attended the meeting of the school board on June 16 and delivered the speech we reported yesterday. “Most of the board members were surprised, especially the newer members [members serve two year terms]. The newer members appeared less aware of the issue than maybe the more veteran members of the board. The only two members of the board who weren’t surprised were Superintendant Jody Goegler and another board member who told me that he’s completely behind what I’m doing.”
At this time, Lampart does not anticipate any negative fallout for the stand he’s taking. He is gratified that the national attention this has brought will have an effect on any decision made by the Board of Education. His intent is to attend every meeting until the issue is resolved to his satisfaction, even if it stretches past his graduation.
The next meeting is scheduled for July 7.