Thirty-one years ago today, the Supreme Court upheld students rights to read in the Island Trees School district in Long Island. The 5-4 decision of Board of Education vs. Pico found that the school board violated the First Amendment when they removed certain books from junior high and high school libraries after parents complained they were “objectionable.”

Check out some of the primary source materials from 1976, when the case first geared up:

Pico Anniversary: 1976 Newsday article about Robert Morrow

Island Trees Book Banning 1(1)

Pico Anniversary: Newsday Article on Island Trees Ban 1976

Seem familiar? Similar cases are happening across the country on a daily basis. Take the recent removal of The Perks of Being a Wallflower from Glen Ellyn Schools, for example:

Books Returned to Glen Ellyn

Thanks to the work of students and teachers there (surely channeling the spirit of Steven Pico) and a little help from our Kids’ Right to Read Project, Perks has returned.