It appears that the New York City Department of Education has decided to completely ban the use of Google Images in the class rooms the department manages.
NYC Department of Education Chief Information Security Officer, Oren Hamami, sent out an email to all teachers and administrators within the NYC Department of Education informing the teachers of this change.
According to one teacher who posted this email in a Google Web Search Help forum, Oren Hamami's email read:
Beginning yesterday, you may have found that Google Image Search is being blocked for objectionable content. This blocking is occurring as a result of an unannounced change that Google has made to its image search tool that is preventing Google SafeSearch from functioning properly, and thus allowing inappropriate content to be viewed from within a classroom. In order to maintain a safe computing environment and meet our legal requirement to filter objectionable content, we must temporarily block the use of Google Images. In the interim, search engines such as Yahoo and Bing can be used to search images as they still maintain safe searching functionality. We are working aggressively with our filtering vendor to adjust to Google’s changes, and we are attempting to engage Google as well. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to have Google Image search, with SafeSearch in place, accessible as soon as possible. I will keep you advised as to our progress in resolving this. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Chief Information Security Officer
Division of Instructional and Information Technology
New York City Department of Education
He did not specifically state what changed with Google Images but clearly he said that something changed and that change can harm kids.
I was not able to verify this with the NYC Department of Education or Google as of yet. But Oren is indeed the Chief Information Security Officer at the NYC Department of Education.
Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.