Issue 112, Summer 2010
- NCAC teamed up with EFF urging YouTube to remove its ban on an artist’s videos containing nudity. YouTube promptly restored the videos to view. We are urging YouTube to clarify the application of its nudity guidelines to artwork and to institute a viable appeals process for removed videos.
- NCAC protested the removal of a painting of a nude from an art exhibit in Temecula, CA, and the city issued a formal apology to the artist. Since the city subsequently decided to have government officials directly involved in the selection of artworks for its exhibition spaces rather than adopt a written policy, more censorship is likely.
- The ACLU and others are challenging patents on genes associated with breast cancer, arguing that the patents inhibit scientific research and deny patients access to health. On March 29, a NY federal court ruled that the patents are invalid but didn’t address the constitutional claims. This is the first time a court has found gene patents unlawful.
- NCAC urged 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. Forever will remain in the library.
- Secretary of State Clinton has signed orders that end the exclusion of two prominent scholars who were barred from the United States by the Bush administration. The visa denials of Professors Adam Habib and Tariq Ramadan were challenged in separate lawsuits filed by the ACLU on behalf of American organizations that had invited the scholars to speak to audiences inside the United States.
- The Third Circuit vacated two previous, seemingly contradictory, opinions concerning student online speech in Pennsylvania. Both cases involved students who had created fake online profiles parodying the principals at their respective schools. Layshock v. Hermitage School District and J.S. v. Blue Mountain School will be reheard.
- The Rancocas Valley School Board (NJ) decided to remove one out of three challenged books from a high school library. A group of residents opposed the books because they were on a list of GLBTQ themed books created by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
- Tarleton State University canceled a student production of Terrence McNally’s play Corpus Christi in response to pressure from the Catholic League and others. Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst called the play "morally reprehensible."
- Responding to a parent’s demand that all R-rated films be removed from high school curricula, the Council Rock School Board (PA) decided that teachers may continue to use pre-approved R-rated movies in class.