The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the School Board of the Collier County Public Schools in Naples, Florida, after District libraries recently added an “Advisory Notice” to hundreds of library books—raising censorship concerns.

Placing advisory notices, or “red-flagging” books often misleadingly reduces complex literary works to a few isolated elements—those that some individuals may find objectionable—rather than viewing the work as a whole. Read our statement on red-flagging here. 

Segregating and labeling books like this can stigmatize certain viewpoints through personal biases, and is a practice inconsistent with the District’s own Instructional Materials Policy (Policy 2520), which ensures that these types of decisions are based on professional evaluations of the merits of books, and not solely on the objections of a few parents. Unpopular ideas require the most protection, in fact the Supreme Court last year in Mahanoy Area School District v. B. L, stated that American public schools have an obligation to protect unpopular ideas.

NCAC urges Collier County Public Schools to reconsider this advisory notice policy and ensure that library policies do not undermine their students’ right to read and learn.

Read our full letter to the board here. Click here for a full screen view: