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Betsy Combier

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The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Aaron Carr
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
Are Winds of Censorship Blowing in South Dakota?
Governor Closes Down Teen Website
Gov. yanks teen section of state library web site
From eSchool News staff and wire service reports
July 14, 2004

South Dakota's governor has shut down the teen section of the South Dakota State Library's web site, saying it included links to material he doesn't believe young people should see.

Republican Gov. Mike Rounds decided to shut down the entire teen section July 12. The move came in spite of a decision by the State Library Board just days earlier to remove a link to a Planned Parenthood web site. The state board in April had rejected a request to remove the link, but on July 9, the library board reversed itself at the urging of the governor.

Rounds opposes abortion; Planned Parenthood lobbies to keep abortion legal.

"As a parent, I would be very disturbed to have my children connecting to any of these web sites that are found through the state web site at this time," the governor said July 12 as links on the library's Teen Center page began disappearing.

Rounds said he will assemble a committee to review the links and see if any can be restored.

In Rapid City, the state's second largest urban center after Sioux Falls, about 20 teens rallied at their city's public library to protest removal of the Planned Parenthood link.

"It seems as though our governor is censoring one particular group without regard to the content," said one protester, Loy Maierhauser. "It's kind of like pulling a book off the library shelf just because of the author."

Rounds, however, said the removal of the web links does not amount to censorship, because internet users still can go directly to those organizations' sites. State government sites should not feature links to advocacy groups that are politically active, he said.

A quick scan of the Teen Center site before the plug was pulled revealed mostly links to information about popular culture. Some general categories included "Words to Chill By," "Homework," "Life After High School," "That's Life," and "Teen 'Zines."

One link was to Columbia University's Go Ask Alice!, which provides answers to health concerns and some explicit sexual questions. Another was to It's Your (Sex) Life, which includes information on pregnancy, birth control, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Rounds said he made a judgment call. That's one reason he was elected, he added.

Forum Discussion

Did Gov. Rounds go too far?
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© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation