One of the most common complaints of students who come to NCAC for assistance is that they have been threatened with discipline for something that they said on social media. In an important decision that greatly reduced the power of school officials to “reach into a child’s home and control his/her actions” and speech, a panel of the Third Circuit [...]
When a school board in Alaska voted in April to remove five classic books from a high school reading list, it had no idea that it would outrage many in the community as well as several alumni of the school who are now rock stars. Although the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board reversed its decision a month later, the controversy [...]
On August 3 and 4, two students at North Paulding High School in Dallas, GA, posted pictures to social media showing students in crowded hallways where social distancing was clearly impossible. Most students were not wearing masks. Unsurprisingly, the pictures immediately became a topic of discussion in the national media. In response, the school suspended the students on the grounds [...]
NCAC has joined Open the Government and two dozen organizations in urging Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to rescind an order to hospitals requiring them to send daily COVID-19 data reports to HHS, a change that creates urgent concerns about transparency, accountability, and the politicization of data. In a letter sent to Azar on July 23, NCAC [...]
A timeline tracking the free expression concerns raised by emergency measures enacted to contain and manage the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.
This timeline tracks free expression issues that arose following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police on March 25, 2020. It is a working document that will be updated to reflect new developments. If you have something to add, please use our Report Censorship form. 5/25/20 George Floyd Killed by [...]
Editors Note: This statement was first published by NCAC and Defending Rights and Dissent on July 17, 2020. It has been edited slightly to reflect new developments and co-signatories. Unidentified federal law enforcement agents in Portland, Oregon, have detained protesters, whisking them away in unmarked cars. This shocking practice is evocative of repressive methods used by authoritarian governments. Over the objections of [...]
NCAC is asking the University of Kentucky (UK) to cancel recently announced plans to remove a 1930’s-era mural depicting aspects of Kentucky history, including slavery. Some students have demanded its removal because they consider it demeaning to people of color on campus. In 2018, the university commissioned an installation by Karyn Olivier, a noted Black artist, that was painted above [...]
NCAC has joined several free speech organizations in supporting Oberlin College’s appeal of a $44 million libel judgment that threatens the free speech rights of its faculty and students. They filed an amicus brief in an Ohio appeals court on June 5. The case grew out of the arrest of three African American students in 2016 for attempted theft at [...]
WINDSOR, VT -- The Mt. Ascutney School District Board has removed Windsor School Principal Tiffany Riley from her position after she stated on her personal Facebook account that she disapproved of some of the tactics used by some Black Lives Matter activists. In response, NCAC has written to the school board urging them to rescind their decision to remove Ms. [...]
President Donald Trump is once again attempting to interfere with the publication of a book that he believes is critical of him. On June 16, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in an effort to block the June 23 release of The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, a book by John R. Bolton, Trump’s former national [...]
On June 15, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and PEN America joined in protesting Zoom’s decision to close the account of Humanitarian China, a U.S.-based nonprofit that promotes the development of human rights in China. Zoom acted at the request of Chinese officials who wanted to suppress a virtual meeting commemorating the [...]
The American people have witnessed the bravery of health care providers and other essential workers who have put their lives on the line to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Now that we face another national crisis following the death of George Floyd, it is important to recognize the courage of the journalists who are under attack as they cover the national [...]
Rhetorically framed as defense of free speech, the President’s Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, is exactly the opposite: an attempt to intimidate social media platforms into yielding to the president’s views of what speech should be allowed online. While we agree that social media platforms “function in many ways as a 21st-century equivalent of the public square” and share [...]
As misinformation proliferates, protests escalate, and the 2020 U.S. presidential election looms, how much should social media companies regulate the content on their platforms? Rules and regulations are changing as social media giants are figuring out how to wield their unprecedented power over information. As an organization committed to free expression, we welcome efforts to provide more information, alternative sources [...]
NCAC has signed three letters urging state and local officials to uphold First Amendment rights during the protests over the death of George Floyd. It has joined Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 16 other press freedom, journalism, and civil liberties organizations in calling on Governors Tim Walz of Minnesota, Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York, and [...]
Update 5/27/2020 – The online marketplace Redbubble has reinstated the sale of the editorial cartoon that criticizes President Trump. Original Post 5/27/2020 – The National Coalition Against Censorship has joined the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) and other free speech organizations in calling for the online marketplace Redbubble to resume the sale of an editorial cartoon that criticizes President [...]
Free speech is under fire across the United States following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. The protests that have erupted in hundreds of communities have been met by police officers who often fail in their duty to uphold the First Amendment right to assemble for the purpose of demanding change. Television cameras have [...]
Following widespread protest by local citizens and national groups, including National Coalition Against Censorship, an Alaska school board has voted 6 to 1 to rescind its decision to remove five classic works of fiction from the reading list for 11th grade English classes. Students will once again be able to read: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya [...]
On May 19, 2020, an international coalition of arts and free expression organizations, including the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), IBEX Collection, Article19, PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), International Arts Rights Advisors, and Freemuse, launched Don’t Delete Art, a virtual gallery showcasing work which is banned or restricted on social media. The gallery, whose curators include frequently-censored artists [...]
NCAC has joined a coalition of more than 50 civil liberties, civil rights and government transparency organizations in urging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to include civil liberties reforms in the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020, a bill that would extend surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act which expired in March. The coalition’s [...]
Throughout its existence, NCAC has fought the censorship of art containing nude figures. Today, it is supporting the creators of the documentary series, NAK-ED, in their fight against body shaming. It is the idea that there is something shameful about the human body that leads to demands for art depicting the human figure to be repeatedly censored. The episodes will [...]
NCAC urges Mat-Su school board to reverse decision to remove five classic texts from high school curriculum.
NCAC has joined a coalition of 36 organizations led by the ACLU, FreedomWorks, and Demand Progress, to urge Congress to reform the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020, a bill that would extend provisions of the Patriot Act which expired in March and pose unprecedented threats to Americans’ civil liberties. These provisions include the controversial “lone wolf” and “roving wiretap” [...]
Banned Books Week 2020 declares Censorship is a Dead End: Find Your Freedom to Read. The annual celebration of banned books will be held from September 23-October 3, 2020.
As millions of students and teachers adjust to virtual learning in response to the coronavirus pandemic, NCAC will offer teachers the opportunity to host virtual presentations on free speech and the First Amendment by guest speakers from our staff of experts.
Assistance and support for student journalists and advisers reporting on COVID-19 who may experience interference, obstruction or censorship of their work.
Attempts to ban Drag Queen Story Hour events and other LGBTQ-related content from public libraries are proliferating across the country.
The government should hold open all active public comment periods for at thirty days after the declaration of a National Emergency has been lifted.
Democracy and democratic practices should not be obstructed in the interest of streamlining deliberations and decision making by our governing bodies in this time of crisis.
New Mexico Museum of Art chilled artistic expression by removing a project focused on the impact of fracking on the local community from an environmentally-focused exhibition over political concerns.
The City of San Antonio censored queer Latina performance artist Xandra Ibarra's work addressing race and gender stereotypes, likely infringing on the First Amendment.
Democracy was missing in action in Colton, California, when the Board of the Colton Unified School District voted to remove Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye from the District’s reading list.
A Massachusetts middle school has decided to retain Sex is a Funny Word, an award-winning book about puberty, after its removal from the library was demanded by a small number of parents.
NCAC has filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to hear the case of a combat veteran who was arrested after he swore at a Department of Veterans Affairs employee on the telephone.