In the second week of January, Spotswood High School English teacher Jeff Newton, four high school students and five groups representing libraries, booksellers and authors filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, alleging that their First Amendment rights were violated when the school's principal ordered the removal of a list of banned books posted on Newton's classroom door.

Background: Spotswood High School English teacher Jeff Newton posted a pamphlet about book censorship, published annually by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, and others. It had hung outside his door for a year when a parent objected to the slogan “Read a Banned Book,” and to some of the titles mentioned. Newton, threatened with dismissal if he didn’t remove it, took it down to save his job, and is now challenging the threatened dismissal. (Daily News-Record, 10/7&15/99 and Common Ground, 11/99.)
Here are some people you may wish to contact about this incident:


C. James Slye, Principal
Spotswood High School
368 Blazer Dr
Penn Laird VA 22846

Dr. John H. Kidd, Superintendent
Rockingham County Schools
304 County Office Bldg
4 S Main St
Harrisonburg VA 22801

Dan R. Breeden, Chair
Rockingham County School Board
RR 2 Box 354C
Elkton VA 22827

Rockingham County Board of Supervisors:

Charles W. Ahrend, Chair, District 2
5679 Snapps Creek Rd
Singers Glen VA 22850
tel: 540-833-6131
fax: 540-434-7163

Pablo Cuevas, Vice Chair, District 1
PO Box 27
Mount Crawford VA 22841
tel: 540-434-1731
fax: 540-434-7163

N. Paige Will, District 3
100 Killdeer Ln
Dayton VA 22821
tel: 540-879-9568
fax: 540 434-7163

William B. Kyger, District 4
6710 Vista Heights Rd
Bridgewater VA 22812
tel: 540-828-2004
fax: 540-434-7163

Timothy G. Hulings, District 5
2971 Scenic Rd
Elkton VA 22827
tel: 540-298-8424
fax: 540-434-7163

Local newspapers:

The Daily News Leader
PO Box 59
Staunton VA 24402

Daily News-Record
PO Box 193
Harrisonburg VA 22801

Send copies to:

Rebecca K. Glenberg, Legal Director
ACLU of Virginia
6 N 6th St Suite 400
Richmond VA 23219