The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to Spotsylvania County Public Schools in Virginia, regarding the removal of district library books without following their established review policy. As we understand the situation, in response to a local parent challenging 13 district library books, four were removed by district personnel without following Board Policy IIA*-R. This policy explicitly states [...]
Photo Credit: Jerald Braddock The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to the Town Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh, New York, regarding its recent call to remove the depiction of Minister Louis Farrakhan, and potentially other “controversial” figures, from a new town-commissioned mural overseen by the artist known as Kindo Art. The mural was initially commissioned to [...]
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District in Grapevine, Texas, regarding recent policy changes which seem to allow library books to be removed based on the ideas they contain. As we understand the changes to Board Policy EMB (Local), the policy has been amended to restrict the use of instructional materials that advocate [...]
A high school English teacher at Norman School District in Norman, Oklahoma, was recently admonished for sharing a QR Code with students that led to book recommendations from the Brooklyn Public Library. A parent filed a complaint and claimed that recommended materials supported critical race theory, which is against the law in Oklahoma under HB 1775. HB 1775 has put [...]
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to the Madison County School Board in Ridgeland, Mississippi, regarding recent restrictions on 10 books, requiring students to obtain parental permission in order to read them. The 10 books in question address race-related or LQBTQ+ themes, and we are concerned that the district may have unconstitutionally targeted these books for the [...]
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 [...]
The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Conroe Independent School District in Conroe, Texas, regarding recently adopted policies which require parental permission to check out allegedly obscene books from libraries while they are under review. Under the new policies, students will be required to have parental permission to check out challenged books, if the review could “reasonably [...]
NCAC and FIRE Issue Joint Letter to Pennsylvania School District on Unconstitutional Policy Proposal
The National Coalition Against Censorship and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression have cowritten a letter to the Pennridge School District in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, demanding changes to a proposed policy that would unconstitutionally restrict the communications that students can distribute both on and off school grounds. The proposed policy is shockingly broad and impermissibly vague. If implemented it [...]
The National Coalition Against Censorship has delivered a letter to the Auburn Enlarged City School District Board in Auburn, New York, in response to proposed amendments to its Instructional Materials and Controversial Issues policy that will allow parents to limit access to school library materials. Policy amendments are in response to complaints made early this year about All Boys Aren't [...]
The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the School Board of Central Bucks School District in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, after recent proposed changes to the District’s Library Materials Policy raised serious censorship concerns. The Board voted to adopt the policy on July 26, 2022. The policy leaves the authority to remove materials in the hands of a single person. NCAC [...]
The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Fairview School District School Board in Fairview, Pennsylvania, regarding a recent decision to remove Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer from the Fairview High School library. It appears that the decision was made unilaterally by Superintendent Erik Kincade, circumventing district policy, which explicitly states that book challenges must be adjudicated by a committee [...]
The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Superintendent of Foster-Glocester Regional School District in Glocester, Rhode Island, after students at Ponaganset High School were silenced for expressing their personal views. The students in question, according to The Providence Journal, brought “anti-tolerant” flags to school following a Pride Month celebration. It is unclear if the students faced disciplinary action, but [...]
A York, South Carolina, councilperson blocked a constituent from posting on her Facebook page, a violation of the First Amendment as the courts have ruled the social media pages can serve as public forums.
In times of war, free speech suffers. Right and wrong appear indisputable. There is moral certainty that “God is on our side.” When we are convinced that the enemy is producing only dangerous lies and propaganda, we want to bar their entry into the marketplace of ideas. The war between Russia and Ukraine is the latest test of our commitment [...]
For this year’s YFEP Film Contest, we invited teens to create a film on the importance of expressing one’s gender and identity through personal appearance. The 3 winners tackled a wide range of polarizing, and often taboo, topics including gun violence, immigrant family separation, gender equality, toxic masculinity, shaming and bullying, and climate change. The Chairs of the New [...]
The National Coalition Against Censorship has signed on to a letter by the Student Press Law Center calling on the Superintendent of Arkansas’s Bigelow High School to reprint yearbook pages that were censored after alleged “community backlash.” The letter also asks that the Superintendent apologize to the yearbook staff and former adviser Meghan Walter who resigned due to the censorship. [...]
A timeline of free expression issues that arose following the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests for racial justice.
In a case seen as a test of whether text-only fiction can be considered legally obscene, the host of erotic fiction archive Mr Double faces seven obscenity charges.
NCAC has joined a coalition of two dozen organizations calling on Congressional leaders not to reauthorize several expired provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorities by adding them as amendments to a must-pass appropriations bill or other emergency legislation. In a letter sent to Congress on September 14, NCAC and the other organizations argue that these controversial measures [...]
One of the most common complaints of students who come to NCAC for assistance is that they have been threatened with discipline for something that they said on social media. In an important decision that greatly reduced the power of school officials to “reach into a child’s home and control his/her actions” and speech, a panel of the Third Circuit [...]
When a school board in Alaska voted in April to remove five classic books from a high school reading list, it had no idea that it would outrage many in the community as well as several alumni of the school who are now rock stars. Although the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board reversed its decision a month later, the controversy [...]
On August 3 and 4, two students at North Paulding High School in Dallas, GA, posted pictures to social media showing students in crowded hallways where social distancing was clearly impossible. Most students were not wearing masks. Unsurprisingly, the pictures immediately became a topic of discussion in the national media. In response, the school suspended the students on the grounds [...]
NCAC is asking the University of Kentucky (UK) to cancel recently announced plans to remove a 1930’s-era mural depicting aspects of Kentucky history, including slavery. Some students have demanded its removal because they consider it demeaning to people of color on campus. In 2018, the university commissioned an installation by Karyn Olivier, a noted Black artist, that was painted above [...]
NCAC has joined several free speech organizations in supporting Oberlin College’s appeal of a $44 million libel judgment that threatens the free speech rights of its faculty and students. They filed an amicus brief in an Ohio appeals court on June 5. The case grew out of the arrest of three African American students in 2016 for attempted theft at [...]
WINDSOR, VT -- The Mt. Ascutney School District Board has removed Windsor School Principal Tiffany Riley from her position after she stated on her personal Facebook account that she disapproved of some of the tactics used by some Black Lives Matter activists. In response, NCAC has written to the school board urging them to rescind their decision to remove Ms. [...]
Rhetorically framed as defense of free speech, the President’s Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, is exactly the opposite: an attempt to intimidate social media platforms into yielding to the president’s views of what speech should be allowed online. While we agree that social media platforms “function in many ways as a 21st-century equivalent of the public square” and share [...]
Over 100 teen filmmakers spoke Truth to Power for this year’s YFEP Film Contest. We invited teens to speak directly to those in power to lead change about issues that matter to them. The 12 finalist films tackled a wide range of polarizing, and often taboo, topics including gun violence, immigrant family separation, gender equality, toxic masculinity, shaming and [...]
We join PEN America, a member of our coalition, in opposing Washington State’s decision to restrict access to used books in prisons.
NCAC shares PEN America’s grave concern about the President’s use of the levers of government power to retaliate against media companies for the content of their coverage.
NCAC condemns the recent move by the Trump administration to censor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by forbidding the use of certain words in official communications.
Given our current political climate we'd be wise not to take the protections afforded by the First Amendment for granted and to protest unconstitutional government action, as The Slants have successfully just done.
The state of Florida did not appeal the ruling against the “Firearms Owners' Privacy Act,” which prevented doctors from asking patients about their gun ownership.
The violent protesters of Charles Murray need to understand a basic principle: the right to speech exists for all, or for none.
NCAC is urging a Maryland school district to allow its teachers to display a series of posters promoting diversity and inclusion in America after administrators ordered their removal over concerns of political bias.
Turn Me On, Dammit!, an indie Norwegian film about a 15-year-old girl’s struggling with her burgeoning sexuality and dealing with high school tensions, has been widely acclaimed by critics on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet, controversy led to the cancellation of a screening in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the film was scheduled to be shown as part of the Arts [...]
On Monday, June 27th, the Supreme Court announced that upon returning from its summer recess in October, it would revisit the Federal Communication Commission's rule that allows it to fine broadcasters for “indecency.” Last year, the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC was violating broadcasters' free-speech rights. The Court also stated that [...]
Last week’s Supreme Court decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc. signified a subtle yet important shift in commercial speech interpretation that may precede increased corporate strength in the legal arena. The opinion, by Justice Kennedy, argues that Vermont did not have grounds to ban pharmaceutical data-mining as it is a form of non-deceptive commercial information-sharing that is [...]
A recent surge in vulnerability to search and seizure, despite protection under the Fourth Amendment, is creating a climate of fear of punishment for constitutional free expression. Multiple stories this week share the theme of government interpretation of the Fourth Amendment infringing on the rights of the public. If professionals and the public must live in fear of [...]
It’s true that the Smithsonian’s Flashpoints and Faultlines forum was too late for Hide/Seek, but keeping the issues alive months after the exhibit closed may be the right timing for the future of this public institution. It was no surprise that in his welcoming remarks Wayne Clough described himself as having no choice but to censor the artwork. Less expected [...]