Teresa Koberstein

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So far Teresa Koberstein has created 40 blog entries.

Censorship News: The Video Game Issue

By |2019-03-07T23:28:41-05:00November 17th, 2010|Blog|

NCAC devotes the latest issue of Censorship News to video games and the latest in a series of efforts to “protect” minors by restricting their freedom of speech. We discuss the video game case heard in the Supreme Court on November 2,  Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association. The Court will decide whether the state can impose criminal penalties for selling [...]

20 Banned Album Covers

By |2019-03-15T15:26:34-04:00October 21st, 2010|Blog|

On occasion of the controversy over the sexually suggestive cover of Kanye West’s upcoming album "My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy," Billboard has created a fun slideshow of 20 banned album covers. Check them out here: If you want to learn more about music censorship, you can check out NCAC’s Timeline of Music Censorship, which was created by former NCAC intern [...]

Book censorship round-up for this week

By |2020-01-03T13:38:45-05:00October 20th, 2010|Blog|

Suzanne Collins's young adult novel The Hunger Games is challenged in New Hampshire by a parent whose 11-year old said the book gave her nightmares. The parent has yet to file a formal complaint or read the book. Regardless, the Superintendent is gathering a committee to review the book while it remains in the classroom. A Texas school district in [...]

Decency, Respect and Community Standards: What Offends Us Now?

By |2019-03-07T23:27:19-05:00September 22nd, 2010|Blog|

TONIGHT, NCAC and The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School have invited several prominent visual artists to participate in a discussion about visual expression that provokes controversy today. Some of these artists are associated with the culture wars of the 90's, others were more recently censored during the War on Terrorism. Have attitudes towards representations [...]

Is “Controversy” a Dirty Word for Arts Institutions?

By |2019-03-14T18:11:52-04:00September 21st, 2010|Blog|

Last Wednesday NCAC and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School were joined by Bill Ivey, Beka Economopoulos, Magdalena Sawon, Nato Thompson, Martha Wilson, and moderator Laura Flanders of GritTV, to discuss public funding of the arts, free speech and self-censorship, and the impact of the Decency Clause. (Check out their bios here.) In an [...]

Sherman Alexie Novel Officially Banned from Missouri School

By |2019-03-15T15:26:26-04:00September 9th, 2010|Blog|

A disappointing ruling came out last night regarding Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in Stockton, Missouri. The Stockton School Board voted 7-0 holding firm in its decision to remove the book from school classrooms, notwithstanding pressure from many educators to keep it. The board also ruled in favor of banning the book from the high [...]

NCAC Protests Cancellation of Ellen Hopkins Appearance at Teen Lit Fest in Texas

By |2019-03-20T13:24:54-04:00August 27th, 2010|Blog|

An invitation to young adult novelist Ellen Hopkins to speak about her experiences as a writer was rescinded by the Superintendent of the Humble (Texas) Independent School District after some parents complained about the content of her books. NCAC coordinated a letter of protest with five other national organizations. After Hopkins was disinvited to Teen Lit Fest 2011, five other [...]

The Artist Received an Apology

By |2020-01-03T13:38:28-05:00August 26th, 2010|Blog|

The Executive Director of the Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) in Massachusetts has issued a formal apology for painting over the underside of a resident artists’ artwork. Robert Markey was asked to paint a "sneaker" for the "Art and Soles" project – giant sneakers covered the town in hopes to illustrate “what makes Springfield great.”  He painted his “sneaker” with [...]

PEN American Center issues statement in support of Park51 Community Center

By |2019-03-15T15:26:03-04:00August 26th, 2010|Blog|

PEN American Center, a member of NCAC’s coalition, released a statement in support of the proposed Park51 Community Center project, calling First Amendment freedoms “the birthright of all and our best defense.” NCAC is grateful to PEN for expressing thoughts we share about this fear-based controversy. The statement reads: As members of the American literary community who believe in the [...]

Book retained in Oklahoma because “we have to”

By |2020-01-03T13:38:26-05:00August 18th, 2010|Blog|

The word “fuck” has caused quite a stir in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Its appearance - 45 times, according to parent and avid swear-word-counter, Kelli Smith - in young adult novel Shooting Star by Fredrick McKissack Jr. is reason enough for one parent to remove the book from school district libraries. Grudgingly, the Broken Arrow Board of Education will keep the [...]

Mermaid Sculpture Covered with Bikini Top in UK

By |2020-01-03T13:38:26-05:00August 10th, 2010|Blog|

In the latest case of a nude sculpture causing a stir... Managers at Chessingtons Sea Life centre have covered up a topless mermaid sculpture. Justine Locker, Chessingtons Zoo Experience Manager, said: "Young boys, and not so young boys, spending a lot of time ogling her in the walkthrough ocean tunnel" (Courtesy of the Telegraph.)

Announcing the 2010 Youth Film Contest!

By |2020-01-03T13:38:20-05:00July 20th, 2010|Blog|

“I’m all for free speech, BUT…” We all believe in free speech, but does that mean anything goes?  What about the speech that offends us, makes us cringe, and provokes our anger (and desire to censor)? Is there anything that should be outlawed in art, films, books, music, video games, TV, or online?  Is free speech an all or nothing [...]

A Virtual Demonstration Against Censorship

By |2019-03-07T23:19:39-05:00June 28th, 2010|Blog|

A Second Life user films a demonstration opposing the virtual world's ban of Rose Borchovski's The Kiss, which was intended to be shown at SL's 7th birthday celebration. For more about the incident, see "Second Life Censors Machinema Film Over Artistic Nudity."

A Conversation with Edward Albee, David Henry Hwang, Terrence McNally and Adam Rapp

By |2019-03-20T13:28:15-04:00June 25th, 2010|Blog|

The Free Speech Leadership Council gathered on June 23, 2010 for “Playwrights on Censorship: A Conversation with Edward Albee, David Henry Hwang, Terrence McNally, and Adam Rapp.” It was perhaps the first time ever these luminous playwrights conversed in the same room!  Time Out New York’s Theater Editor David Cote moderated the discussion and Jane Friedman, Chair of the Council, [...]

Indiana school board to review Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon”

By |2019-03-15T15:25:41-04:00June 18th, 2010|Blog|

As we reported in our latest edition of Censorship News, Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon was recently removed from an Indiana high school’s AP English class on April 28 after a parent and school board members complained about its content.  Two days later, the book was returned to the class when a committee of educators and parents [...]

Tampon photo incites controversy at the Fashion Institute

By |2019-03-15T15:24:30-04:00May 14th, 2010|Blog|

“FIT endorses the right of artists to freely express their views through their work” reads a sign at the beginning of a student photography show on display in one of the institute’s lobbies. The sign also warns that artwork may be inappropriate for some people. That didn’t stop the Dean from requesting that a photograph by Jessica Chow be covered [...]

LGBTQ-themed Book Removed from NJ High School Library

By |2019-03-15T15:24:24-04:00May 7th, 2010|Blog|

The Rancocas Valley School Board in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, chose to remove one of the three challenged books at its meeting on May 4. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology and two other books were challenged because they appear on a list of books on GLBTQ themes created by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). The objectors [...]

Temecula’s cultural life remains in the hands of city official’s subjective tastes

By |2019-03-15T15:24:19-04:00May 6th, 2010|Blog|

Temecula city management, which was responsible for removing a nude artwork from an exhibition in January, has decided not to create a written policy for the selection of artworks in city-owned exhibition spaces. Instead, Temecula’s Community Services Director Herman Parker (or someone designated by him) will partake in the selection process. NCAC Director of Programs, Svetlana Mintcheva, says: It is [...]

Join us on Saturday to view the winning YFEN films!

By |2020-01-03T13:37:29-05:00March 24th, 2010|Blog|

On March 27 from 1-4 at the New York Film Academy, NCAC partners with Kahlil Almustafa, Emily Kunstler, Reel Works, and Global Action Project for an afternoon of making connections and exploring the power of youth-made media. Stop by to view the winning films from our annual Film Contest (Free Speech in School - Does it Exist?)!  Hip hop poet [...]

Youth Voices Uncensored – March 27th

By |2020-01-03T13:37:30-05:00March 11th, 2010|Blog|

Join us at the New York Film Academy for our second Youth Voices Uncensored event on March 27th from 1-4pm for an afternoon of youth films, fun prizes, and great performances! Meet the winners of the 6th Annual YFEN film contest and make connections while exploring the power of youth-media. It's FREE and open to the public! Who: National Coalition [...]

Bikini apps for iPhone are “overtly sexual”

By |2020-01-03T13:37:11-05:00February 24th, 2010|Blog|

We can now add swimwear catalogs to the list of controversial iPhone apps, which already includes a Kama Sutra ebook, NIN, and the dictionary. In an effort to keep out anything "overtly sexual" from iPhone apps, Apple removed Simply Beach's catalog (Simply Beach is an online beachwear retailer). Apparently, women in bikinis press Apple's red-alert sexuality button (or [...]

Parents in Florida Object to Judy Blume’s “Forever”

By |2019-03-14T18:07:52-04:00February 18th, 2010|Blog|

NCAC, with a little help from our friends, sent a letter urging Sugarloaf School in Summerland Key, FL, to retain Judy Blume's Forever in the school library after the parents of one student objected to the book's sexual content. The parents have requested its removal from the library claiming that Forever contains “a distorted view of sex, promiscuity, and is [...]

Comment filters for online class disrupts education in Kentucky

By |2019-03-07T23:03:17-05:00February 5th, 2010|Blog|

A Jefferson County Public School student was banned from mentioning the name of his website in a Search Engine Optimization class offered through the school's online continuing education program.  His URL: www.olbastard.com.  His context: he sells bastard files. He attempted to post comments to the online forum, but because his URL was the subject of his questions, his posts were [...]

Washington School Censors Fairy Tales

By |2016-01-14T15:29:29-05:00February 5th, 2010|Blog|

Robert Frost Elementary in Washington State canceled the touring theatre-troupe Studio East's production of the Emperor's New Clothes and demanded several edits to Snow White and the Black Forest due to fears that students would imitate the bad behavior of some of the characters. The plays, according to the school, violate its Human Dignity Policy. NCAC, in collaboration with several [...]

Not even dictionaries are safe for children?

By |2019-03-14T17:36:45-04:00January 29th, 2010|Blog|

School officials at Menifee Union School District temporarily removed copies of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition for containing graphic terms like “oral sex" after a parent complained. (But as it turns out, the dictionary did not even contain this term...) Nonetheless, NCAC executive director Joan Bertin explains, Removing a book should be based solely on its educational value, not on [...]

Avatar, Smoking and Free Speech

By |2020-01-03T13:36:33-05:00January 20th, 2010|Blog|

Avatar has incited controversy over Sigourney Weaver's character's smoking in the film, even though the character is decidedly not, as director James Cameron describes, "an aspirational role model" for teenagers. Anti-smoking advocates fear that children will mimic the vices they see onscreen -- another theory in a long line of efforts to attribute social ills to media or other cultural [...]

Bad times for t-shirts, Yale

By |2020-01-03T13:36:32-05:00January 12th, 2010|Blog|

T-shirts printed by the Freshman Class Council for football games against Harvard have traditionally featured taunts and put downs of the rival institution, and vice-versa, but this year the featured text - “I think of all Harvard men as sissies,” - proved too provocative for the increasingly sensitive Yale palate. After the LGBT co-op criticized the text (as it happens, [...]

Annoucing the 2009 YFEN Film Contest Winners!

By |2019-03-14T17:45:27-04:00January 6th, 2010|Blog|

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the famous Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines when the court ruled in favor of students who had been suspended for protesting the Vietnam War. The Tinker case stated that students "do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate." But 40 years later, students [...]

A little reminiscing…

By |2019-03-07T23:03:00-05:00January 4th, 2010|Blog|

Happy New Year, everyone! It seems 2009 was a tough year for sexting, Amazon, and West Bend, WI – but great for Blogging Censorship and infographics!  To reminisce a little on NCAC's first full year of blogging, here is a list of our top 5 most popular posts of 2009: Teens Sending Nude Photos of Themselves Sexting Roundup: The Anxiety [...]

NCAC Celebrates 35 years!

By |2020-01-03T13:36:24-05:00November 23rd, 2009|Blog|

On October 19 we celebrated our 35th Anniversary with a Night of Comedy with Judy Blume & Friends at City Winery.  And by friends, we mean the following fearless writers, artists, actors, comedians, musicians and filmmakers who have fought back against censorship: Elna Baker, Richard Belzer, Alice Eve Cohen, Junot Díaz, Rachel Dratch, Hannah Friedman, Liz Garbus, Martin Garbus, Judy [...]

School fights back: Parents’ lose suit opposing Rent & Laramie Project.

By |2022-12-09T14:16:02-05:00November 13th, 2009|Blog|

Great week for high school theatre! RENT and the Laramie project are two of the most challenged plays in high schools around the country, but both shows will go on thanks to the Green Valley High School administration and Clark County's District Court in Henderson, NV despite parents who objected to the plays' "mature content". In an attempt to stop [...]

Announcing the 2009 YFEN film contest semi-finalists!

By |2019-03-14T17:45:23-04:00November 6th, 2009|Blog|

This year we received triple the amount of submissions than usual, and were very impressed!  We usually choose 10 semi-finalists, but this time we simply had to make room for 13.  We congratulate the semi-finalists and all our applicants for their hard work and excellent ideas! Jordan Allen Nathaniel Dueber Aaron Dunbar Taylor Dunlap and Caroline Dunaway Jovan Landry Lauren [...]

YFEN film contest deadline today!

By |2020-01-03T13:34:25-05:00October 23rd, 2009|Blog|

Today is the deadline for our contest Free Speech in Schools: Does it Exist? Students 19 and younger are encouraged to film their response in 4min or less for the chance to win up to $1000 and a scholarship to the  New York Film Academy.  See more details at Youth Free Expression Network or even apply online now! According to [...]

Celebrate 35 years with NCAC at City Winery, tonight!

By |2020-01-03T13:36:11-05:00October 19th, 2009|Blog|

Today, Monday, October 19th the National Coalition Against Censorship is celebrating its 35th Anniversary! Since 1974, NCAC has fought hundreds of attempts to regulate speech including criticizing the results of Meese Report in 1986, opposing the censorship of films like Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ and The Tin Drum, and taking a firm stand in ongoing controversies over public [...]

Celebrating 35 years of defending free speech

By |2020-01-03T13:36:05-05:00October 7th, 2009|Blog|

It's our 35th Anniversary! The typical gift for 35 years of marriage is jade or coral - well, we won't hand out earrings or take you deep sea diving, but we DO have an exciting evening planned to benefit NCAC and honor renowned and much-censored author Judy Blume! Join us on Monday, October 19, 2009 for A Night of Comedy [...]

NCAC staff and readers testify for Banned Books Week

By |2020-01-03T13:36:03-05:00October 1st, 2009|Blog|

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing." - To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee Thanks to everyone who participated on twitter, facebook, and this blog with listing your favorite banned books!  You wrote about books you read in high school and those that changed your perspectives.  You testified about [...]

Contentious Quilts, not for cuddling?

By |2020-01-03T13:26:43-05:00April 22nd, 2009|Blog|

The quilts that grace the pages of Quilter’s Home’s March/April edition are probably not what your grandmother would have made. Their contemporary subject-matter and the direct approach of the quilting artists caused a stir with Jo-Ann Fabrics who refused to carry copies of this particular issue.  It seems, however, that the magazine itself was instrumental in creating the stir: “Shocking [...]

More challenged books: couple petitions West Bend, WI, public library

By |2019-03-13T15:10:01-04:00April 8th, 2009|Blog|

In another case of challenged books from public libraries, a Wisconsin couple has petitioned for the reclassifying of several Young Adult books to Adult.  Ginny Maziarka and her husband feel that books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Geography Club, and Deal With It! a whole new approach to your body, brain and life as a gURL should [...]

“Sex-funded porn”: University of Montana Kaimin’s sex column

By |2020-01-03T13:26:09-05:00March 20th, 2009|Blog|

A sex column in the University of Montana Kaimin, its student-run newspaper, is the brunt of attacks by a couple professors on campus, one of whom has demanded its cessation.  Bess Davis’ “Bess Sex Column” has been targeted as “state-funded porn”, though its author would label it “vanilla” compared to the sex columns of other university newspapers. According to the [...]

Prior review, psychedelics, and high school newspapers

By |2020-01-03T13:20:07-05:00March 4th, 2009|Blog|

Promoting drug use in a high school newspaper is undeniably inappropriate, but is there ever room for critical discussion about drugs?  How about reporting on substantial medical research, which claims some psychedelic drugs might offer positive effects?  Lakeridge High School senior Tyler Smith’s January op-ed, “Psychedelics: Agents of spiritual growth?” which reported on the effects of psychedelic drugs and brought [...]

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