NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Project sent a letter to the Newfound Area School District warning of the “constitutionally suspect” dissolution of a high school student film club. The official reason for disbanding the club was its supposed failure to advance “student performance in core academic subjects like reading and mathematics” or “complement their regular academic program.”

But in conversation with the director of the after-school program that hosted the club. it became apparent that the club was disbanded due to objections that a film they produced was “inappropriate”. NCAC responded that such an action raised serious First Amendment concerns:

“The film you found so objectionable is in the style of sketch comedy. Some may think it is provocative or tasteless, but the same could be said of Monty Python and many of the sketches of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Saturday Night Live, etc. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about Monty Python, as well as Yes Son That is a Lion. However, you are not entitled to impose your aesthetic judgment on your students or the school community, or to discontinue a program or activity because a student in it engaged in protected expression that you dislike. It is no more permissible to disband the film club that it would be to discontinue a creative writing exercise if a student wrote a story you did not like.”