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So far NCAC Staff has created 1376 blog entries.

NCAC Joins Letter Calling for Reform of US Government Watchlisting System

By |2016-01-25T10:59:05-05:00October 15th, 2014|Incidents|

In a joint letter to the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division and the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, NCAC and the below signatories question the legality of federal watchlisting practices. The letter deems the current system of labeling thousands of people, including American citizens, as suspected terrorists as "bloated and unfair." The signatories [...]

Students at “Distinct Disadvantage” If Written Consent Forms Become Policy

By |2020-01-03T14:52:56-05:00October 10th, 2014|Incidents|

Update: Teton County School District will not be moving forward with the proposed consent forms. A win for the Kids' Right to Read Project! In response to the controversy over Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya in the Teton County School District, the school board has proposed to require parents to sign written consent forms for assigned books and to offer [...]

Third Time’s the Charm? NCAC Responds to Red-Flagging Policy in WI School District

By |2020-01-03T14:52:24-05:00October 7th, 2014|Incidents|

NCAC and other free speech organizations sent a letter to the Waukesha School District in regard to efforts made to remove Looking for Alaska by John Green, Chinese Handcuffs by Chris Crutcher, and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini in classrooms and libraries, and to reject the idea of "red-flagging books that deal with sex, rape, extreme violence and brutality, and animal cruelty." In a previous [...]

Banned Broadway Gets the TADA! Treatment: Watch the Video

By |2020-01-03T14:55:54-05:00October 3rd, 2014|Blog|

The TADA! Youth Theatre Ensemble brought down the house with two exclusive performances of The Banned Broadway Project during the closing weekend of Banned Books Week. In collaboration with NCAC, the TADA! teens explored controversial themes found in censored plays and musicals and selected scenes from their favorites to prepare for the big night, including Pippin, Rent, and The Laramie [...]

Free Speech Groups Urge School District to Reinstate “The Fault in Our Stars” to Middle School Libraries

By |2020-01-03T14:52:23-05:00October 3rd, 2014|Incidents|

NCAC along with seven other other free speech organizations sent a letter to the Riverside Unified School District urging the School Board to reinstate The Fault in Our Stars by John Green to middle school libraries. A reconsideration committee voted to remove the book after a parent of a middle school student raised objections to the novel's language and sexual content. The [...]

“Persepolis” Under Attack at Glenwood High School; School Board to Meet Tonight (Update: Victory!)

By |2020-01-03T14:52:17-05:00September 29th, 2014|Incidents|

Update: The School Board voted unanimously to keep Persepolis in the 12th grade English IV curriculum in Glenwood High School. In a letter sent to the Ball-Chatham Board of Education today, NCAC and other free-speech organizations urged the Board to reinstate Marjane Satrapi's acclaimed Persepolis to the 12th grade English IV curriculum in Glenwood High School. The Board will meet [...]

Jefferson County School Board to Review History Curriculum

By |2020-01-03T14:52:22-05:00September 29th, 2014|Incidents|

UPDATE #1: Good news--the plan to 'review' AP History has been scrapped.   *UPDATE #2 : The controversies in JeffCo have still been brewing since NCAC's intervention. The district decided to establish a committee comprised of two board-appointed members, along with students, teachers, and curriculum experts selected by the District. The district hopes that that the issue regarding the curriculum will be [...]

International Free Speech Organizations Condemn Barbican Exhibit B Cancelation

By |2019-03-07T23:05:00-05:00September 26th, 2014|Press Releases|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Contact: Svetlana Mintcheva  [email protected]/ 212-807-6222 The New York based National Coalition Against Censorship has joined the UK based Index of Censorship and other members of ARTSFEX, an international civil society network actively concerned with the right of artists to freedom of expression, in a statement condemning an alarming worldwide trend in which violent protest silences artistic expression that some [...]

International Free Speech Organizations Condemn Barbican Exhibit B Cancellation

By |2020-01-03T14:52:15-05:00September 26th, 2014|Incidents|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has joined the UK based Index of Censorship and other members of ARTSFEX, an international civil society network actively concerned with the right of artists to freedom of expression, in a statement condemning an alarming worldwide trend in which violent protest silences artistic expression that some groups claim is offensive. The below statement was issued [...]

U.S. Fails to Protect the Right to Access Culture, Says Report

By |2016-01-27T15:06:41-05:00September 25th, 2014|Press Releases|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE In a submission to a UN human rights review, anti-censorship groups document violations of freedom of information and expression in public schools, jails, and prisons New York and Copenhagen For more information contact Svetlana Mintcheva at 212-807-6222 In a new report to the United Nations assessing the United States’ compliance with its human rights obligations, two leading [...]

NCAC Writes Follow-up Letter in Response to Fired Drama Director

By |2020-01-03T14:52:03-05:00September 22nd, 2014|Incidents|

Last Friday, NCAC and a number of other organizations devoted to free speech considerations in education, drama, and literature sent a letter to the South Williamsport Area School District calling on them to reverse their cancellation of Monty Python's Spamalot, which had been called off due to "homosexual themes." As we sent out the letter, we learned that Dawn Burch, [...]

PA High School Cancels “Spamalot” Over Homosexual Themes

By |2020-01-03T14:52:03-05:00September 19th, 2014|Incidents|

UPDATE: We've just heard that, in apparent retaliation for speaking about the cancellation of the play, drama teacher Dawn Burch, has been just fired. Stay tuned for action alert and letter to the school board.  In a letter sent to the South Williamsport Area School District today, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), the American Booksellers Foundation For Free Expression, the [...]

A Machine of Paranoia: How Concerns for Student Safety May Chill Speech

By |2020-01-03T14:52:00-05:00September 18th, 2014|Blog|

NCAC has proudly signed onto the list of 13 Necessary and Proportionate principles, part of a global effort led by our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, on mass surveillance. This week marks the one-year anniversary of the drafting of the principles. The list of principles proposes a set of guidelines that governments around the world should adhere to if [...]

Sherman Alexie Discusses Book Banning and Censorship

By |2020-01-02T15:10:01-05:00September 16th, 2014|Blog|

Sherman Alexie is one of the most frequently challenged authors in America. Just this year, NCAC intervened in three separate challenges to Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, most recently in Idaho. In this new video, Alexie discusses book banning, censorship, and the erotic novel to which one would-be book banner compared his young adult novel.

Pennsylvania Teen Criminally Charged for Naughty Facebook Pictures with Jesus Sculpture

By |2020-01-03T14:51:57-05:00September 16th, 2014|Blog|

Is symbolic behavior a crime when it may offend religious sensitivities? A 14-year-old boy could be facing up to two years in juvenile detention for posting lewd, crass, yet ultimately innocuous photos on Facebook this past July. The problem: the photos featured him suggestively posing with a sculpture of Jesus. While traipsing the lawn of a local religious organization known [...]

Acts of Fear: Compromising the Digital Rights of Youth

By |2020-01-03T14:49:28-05:00September 11th, 2014|Blog|

I joined NCAC on the first day of the ninth Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which took place in Istanbul last week. Central to IGF – an event mired in controversy, given Turkey’s startlingly abusive Internet controls – was the topic of youth digital rights. Turkish academic Kursat Cagiltay commented that 42% of Turkish youth condoned government censorship of the Internet. He [...]

An “Absolute” Mess: West Ada School District Reviews Every Book on Reading List

By |2020-01-03T14:49:20-05:00September 10th, 2014|Incidents|

UPDATE: School Board unanimously voted on September 9 to put Alexie's book back in classrooms...
Last spring, the West Ada School District voted to remove Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian from the 10th grade supplemental reading list after a parent complained about the content of the book. The school district is once again the focal point of First Amendment neglect by requesting a review of all books on supplemental reading lists for grades 6-12.

NCAC co-signs letter to President Obama and Members of the PCLOB

By |2020-01-03T14:49:02-05:00September 4th, 2014|Incidents|

The undersigned organizations, former government officials, and members of Congress write to express their concerns over the US government's surveillance activities conducted under the authority of Executive Order 12333. NCAC shares the concerns of many that these surveillance activities will "undermine the fundamental rights of internet users everywhere" by implementing an unnecessary assemblage of users' personal information. The letter calls [...]

Censors Without Borders: NCAC on the Global Scene

By |2020-01-03T14:49:00-05:00August 27th, 2014|Blog|

China arrests an inconvenient artist, Pakistan blocks YouTube, Morocco puts a rapper in jail… but Americans are OK as long as we can make public officials recognize the demands of the First Amendment. But is this enough? In the 21st century, with instant communications, with an art world that is defined by events spread all over the globe, and with [...]

Not the First Time Around: “The Kite Runner” and “Chinese Handcuffs” Challenged in Wisconsin School District

By |2020-01-03T14:48:54-05:00August 19th, 2014|Incidents|

The parent of a Waukesha School District high school student has requested that The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and Chinese Handcuffs by Chris Crutcher be removed from the district’s libraries, insisting that both novels should be restricted to adults over age 18. This is not the first time that the Waukesha School District has been attacked by parents claiming [...]

Challenge to “The Handmaid’s Tale” in PA Leaves Summer Reading List in “limbo”

By |2020-01-03T14:48:53-05:00August 18th, 2014|Incidents|

The brother of an incoming senior in New Eagle, PA has formally requested the removal of the award-winning dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood from the Ringgold High School summer reading list, complaining about the novel's “adult nature” and “grossly inappropriate conduct.” The board’s vote to suspend the book was mitigated by the August 12 decision to rescind the book’s [...]

Singapore National Library Should Reconsider Decision to Pulp Children’s Books

By |2016-02-08T10:49:23-05:00July 17th, 2014|Incidents|

From National Coalition Against Censorship (USA), freeDimensional and PEN International July 17, 2014 As organizations committed to freedom of speech and to the universal human value of artistic and literary production, the USA-based National Coalition Against Censorship, PEN International and freeDimensonal are deeply concerned about the decision of the Singapore National Library Board to remove and pulp three children’s books: And [...]

Then and Now: Old Glory Under Fire

By |2020-01-03T14:47:54-05:00July 3rd, 2014|Blog|

“Yes, that is my flag. I burned it. If they let that happen to Meredith, we don’t need an American flag.” Sidney Street’s reaction to the attempted assassination of civil rights leader James Meredith on a summer afternoon in 1965 led to his arrest, but in his actions and proclamation to police officers, Street put a spotlight on the very ideals of freedom and democracy that the flag purports to represent.

Then and Now: The Triple X Edition

By |2019-03-15T16:09:16-04:00June 19th, 2014|Blog|

Sex. It's impure, shameful, dirty, immoral, and… harmful? Taboos around sex have existed through the ages, so much so that the American legal system classifies obscene sexual material as a rare exception to First Amendment protection. We rely on judges to tell us if our sexual imagination is obscene or acceptable, and 41 years ago this month, the Supreme Court [...]

This Compromise Is Not Acceptable: Constitutionally Suspect South Carolina Budget Measure is an Assault on Academic Freedom

By |2016-01-27T16:02:52-05:00June 13th, 2014|Incidents|

National Coalition Against Censorship, American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina, American Association of University Professors , American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression, Association of American Publishers, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Dramatists Guild, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Modern Language Association and National Council of Teachers of English   As national organizations dedicated to freedom of speech [...]

Then and Now: Out Loud and Proud

By |2020-01-03T14:47:42-05:00June 5th, 2014|Blog|

No one knows exactly why Andy Warhol's only public work, "13 Most Wanted Men," was censored fifty years ago this month at the 1964 World's Fair in Queens, New York. Initial press reports said it was Warhol himself who didn't like the work. But that was not the case. Yet, no other rationale was offered. The reason remained unspoken - or perhaps, it was simply [...]

Introduction

By |2016-01-19T10:39:12-05:00May 23rd, 2014|Censorship News Articles|

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.” — Aldous Huxley Huxley would not be surprised then, that as we go to print, his 1932 novel, Brave New World, has been challenged in Delaware by a school board member who declared, “because my [...]

40 Years on the Frontlines: Headlines from Censorship News

By |2016-01-19T10:39:09-05:00May 20th, 2014|Censorship News Articles|

1975: “Burning Books in North Dakota” Bruce Severy was fired after having assigned James Dickey’s Deliverance and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five to his high school English students. When the school’s burning of the books created nationwide publicity, residents of Drake, N.D. were “dumbfounded and vaguely upset by the notoriety.” 1979: “Classified at Birth: The Progressive Case” The controversy around the Progressive’s intended article on the [...]

MD State Legislators Take Aim at Protected Political Expression and Activity at State Colleges and Universities

By |2020-01-03T14:37:52-05:00March 13th, 2014|Incidents|

The National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Association of University Professors criticize academic boycotts, but warn public officials against interference with political expression and open discussion and debate.

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