Academic Freedom

NCAC and Eleven Other Groups Rebuke Congressional Committees’ Request for Suspicious Activity Reports of Non-Profit Organizations

By |2024-05-17T10:18:33-04:00May 17th, 2024|News, Statement|

Today, along with eleven other free expression groups, NCAC issued a letter to two congressional committees regarding their request to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) of twenty groups that the committees alleged had supported or funded recent college protests.  NCAC's deep concern stems from both the breadth of the committees' requests for records (20 organizations, without [...]

No to the Heckler’s Veto: Fear of Protest Should Not be a Reason to Silence Speakers

By |2024-07-17T16:03:18-04:00April 19th, 2024|Blog|

When political passions run high, disagreement is often expressed as vocal protest. Cultural institutions in a democratic society need to be prepared to manage such protests without silencing the voices they target. Instead, vague “safety concerns” are used to justify the suppression of speech within US cultural and educational institutions with alarming frequency.  On April 15th, the Provost and [...]

NCAC protests the disposal of hundreds of school library books at New York City’s PS 55

By |2024-03-25T15:40:42-04:00March 25th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship urges the school administrators of PS 55, The Henry M. Boehm School in Staten Island, NY,  to follow NY DOE policy and return these discarded books back to shelves and uphold the First Amendment values of free inquiry and free access to information. Read NCAC's full letter to PS 55 here: Click here for a [...]

NCAC urges Indiana University to Reschedule Exhibition of Abstract Artist Samia Halaby

By |2024-01-11T17:17:15-05:00January 11th, 2024|Letters, News|

Today, NCAC issued a letter of concern to the leadership of Indiana University, imploring the university to reverse its December 2023 decision to cancel the upcoming retrospective exhibition of renowned Palestinian-American abstract painter, Samia Halaby. “Samia Halaby: Centers of Energy” was to open in February at the university’s Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art and feature more than [...]

NCAC recommends policy changes to North Syracuse Central School District in New York

By |2023-12-01T12:40:22-05:00December 1st, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the North Syracuse Central School District in New York to encourage them to amend their policies. The suggested revisions will allow access to challenged materials to remain unrestricted during the review process.  Read NCAC's full letter to the North Syracuse Central School District here: Click here for a full-screen view: [...]

NCAC protests the removal of 33 books from high school library in Wisconsin

By |2023-11-30T14:05:42-05:00November 30th, 2023|News|

According to media reports, the superintendent of Wisconsin's Menomonee Falls Schools has removed 33 books from school libraries without following the district's challenge procedures.  The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the school board to urge them to conduct all book challenges in accordance with board policy, which requires that challenges be adjudicated by a committee of diverse [...]

NCAC Introduces Student Advocates for Speech 2023 Cohorts

By |2023-10-27T11:56:59-04:00October 27th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK – The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has selected 15 exceptional high school students to participate in its 2023 Students Advocates for Speech (SAS) program, representing 11 states. These remarkable students, who come from California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas, are poised to impact their schools, districts, and communities [...]

NCAC, ACLU-AZ caution of pyrrhic victory as Mesa vows tighter controls over its arts center

By |2023-09-12T18:00:44-04:00September 12th, 2023|News|

MESA, ARIZONA - Today, the National Coalition Against Censorship's (NCAC) Arts and Culture Advocacy Program (ACAP) and the ACLU of Arizona released a joint statement responding to the City of Mesa's pledge to exercise greater control over artistic content in future exhibitions at Mesa Arts Center, which may lead to the prohibition of artwork that is deemed "controversial" or "critical" of government agencies. This commitment comes on the heels of the local and national [...]

NCAC opposes effort to restrict AP African American Studies in Arkansas

By |2023-08-21T14:00:02-04:00August 21st, 2023|News|

NEW YORK - The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) is an alliance of national nonprofit groups dedicated to protecting freedom of expression, including the rights of K-12 students, teachers, and staff. NCAC released the following statement to oppose the Arkansas Department of Education's restrictions on Advanced Placement African American Studies. On Saturday, August 12, the Arkansas Department of Education [...]

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority removes video installation from airport exhibition

By |2023-04-28T16:34:52-04:00April 20th, 2023|News|

Artwork credit: Evan Apodaca, Monumental Interventions, 2023 (Video still). The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has contacted the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to express concerns over the removal of artwork by artist Evan Apodaca from an exhibition at San Diego Regional Airport. Apodaca's video installation titled Monumental Interventions explores San Diego's monuments and the role of the [...]

National film contest seeks submissions on how youth deal with conflicting ideas

By |2023-04-25T14:49:44-04:00April 18th, 2023|News, Press Releases, Videos|

NEW YORK – As proven by the recent uptick in book banning, people often want to silence ideas that they feel are harmful or offensive. Daily, youth are confronted with views they disagree with, from school censorship to online hate speech. How are youth and young adults coping with conflicting viewpoints? The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) wants [...]

NCAC protests decision to remove eight books from the school library in a Maine school district

By |2023-04-20T14:09:51-04:00April 17th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Board of Directors at Maine School Administrative District #6 in Buxton, Maine, to protest the decision to suspend its policy for reviewing book challenges to remove eight books from the school library before reviewing a complaint.  Removed titles include Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera, [...]

NCAC writes to school board in Iowa City about the temporary removal of Juno Dawson’s This Book is Gay | Updated

By |2023-11-28T10:40:08-05:00April 7th, 2023|In The News, Letters, News|

Updated 11/28/23 - At the request of the school’s reconsideration committee, This Book is Gay was returned to school libraries. 4/7/23 - The National Coalition Against Censorship wrote to the Iowa City Community School District in Iowa concerning the District’s recent temporary removal of Juno Dawson's This Book is Gay pending review of a challenge to the book. This [...]

NCAC protests Sioux City Community Schools’ removal of This Book is Gay from libraries | Updated

By |2023-04-12T13:06:12-04:00April 6th, 2023|Letters, News|

Updated 4/12/2023 – The District Board President has responded to our letter. His email stated:  Primarily, the book presented safety issues as it describes how to access unsuitable websites and other “hookup” processes. It is completely inappropriate for our students.   As a result of the safety issues, we determined that the inappropriate book would be pulled.  The book [...]

NCAC offers school admin Guidelines for Developing Policies on The Display of Student Art

By |2023-04-03T16:42:57-04:00April 3rd, 2023|News, Resources|

As challenges to school library books and instructional materials are on the rise across the country, artistic censorship in schools has received less attention. However, school districts everywhere are struggling with increased political scrutiny on curricular and extracurricular artistic expression. School administrators are increasingly feeling pressured to censor or alter visual art with potential "controversial" or "problematic" subject matter. [...]

West Texas A&M University president bans student drag performances

By |2023-04-12T10:54:01-04:00April 3rd, 2023|News|

National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has delivered a letter to the Board of Regents at Texas A&M University System to express its concern regarding  West Texas A&M President Walter Wendler's decisions to cancel A Fool’s Drag Race and place a ban on all future campus drag performances. According to Wendler, all drag shows are an assault on human dignity [...]

NCAC encourages Canby School District in Oregon to update their book challenge policy | Updated

By |2023-11-28T10:37:04-05:00March 30th, 2023|Letters, News|

Updated 11/28/23 - Canby School District officials voted to return eleven out of the twelve challenged books to school libraries. 3/30/23 - The National Coalition Against Censorship has sent a letter to the Canby School District in Canby, Oregon expressing our concerns with their instructional material reconsideration procedures. We encourage the Canby School Board to consider amending their policy [...]

NCAC recommends a substantial change to proposed library media policy at Volusia County Schools in Florida

By |2023-03-27T16:59:50-04:00March 27th, 2023|Issues, News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to Volusia County Schools in DeLand, Florida, to suggest an important change to proposed amendments for the district's Library Media Selection policy. In a letter to the district, NCAC expresses our concern regarding an addition to the district policy, which states that a "principal may direct the removal of material he/she [...]

NCAC urges Martin County School District to improve book challenge policy after removal of 100 books

By |2023-03-24T13:49:47-04:00March 24th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has encouraged the school board of Martin County School District to amend their book challenge policy following the removal of nearly 100 books from school libraries. NCAC shared our Material Review and Policy Guidelines and Examples, a resource to help school officials address the problem of book challenges. Read NCAC's [...]

NCAC protests viewpoint discrimination in Greenville County Public Libraries proposed policy | Updated

By |2023-11-28T10:34:14-05:00March 24th, 2023|News|

Updated 3/31/2023 – The Greenville County Library board passes its amended collections policy removing language targeting gender. On 3/24/2023 – The National Coalition Against Censorship has sent a letter to the Greenville County Library System in Greenville, South Carolina, expressing our concerns with a proposed change to their library collection policy which would limit access to children's [...]

Book Challenges Nearly Doubled From 2021

By |2023-03-24T13:55:12-04:00March 24th, 2023|Banned Books Week, In The News, News|

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA), founder of Unite Against Book Bans, released new data documenting* 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles [...]

NCAC Joins PEN America and other free speech groups to oppose proposed TikTok ban

By |2023-03-24T10:13:31-04:00March 23rd, 2023|Letters, News, Press Releases|

The NCAC has joined PEN America and more than a dozen other civil liberties, digital rights, and anti-censorship organizations in a joint letter to oppose proposed federal legislation and a wholesale ban on the social media platform TikTok. The joint letter acknowledges the platform's national security and user privacy concerns. It also encourages lawmakers to explore viable solutions to prevent jeopardizing [...]

Free speech groups condemn suppression of LGBTQ expression in Florida

By |2024-06-17T15:19:06-04:00March 22nd, 2023|In The News, News, Press Releases, Statement|

UPDATE 1/10/2024: On November 29, 2023, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced a settlement with Hyatt Regency Miami, requiring the latter to pay a $5,000 fine and prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from attending performances with “specific sexual activities” as defined by Florida State Law. NEW YORK - As organizations dedicated to the freedom of [...]

NCAC Executive Director Christopher Finan to Retire

By |2023-03-16T12:19:00-04:00March 15th, 2023|Blog, News, Press Releases|

NEW YORK - The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) announced today that Executive Director Christopher M. Finan will retire this summer after 40 years of defending free expression and First Amendment rights. Before joining NCAC in 2017, Finan was president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and executive director of Media Coalition, a trade association that [...]

NCAC objects to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools removing library books without following policy | UPDATED

By |2023-03-28T18:12:54-04:00March 8th, 2023|Letters, News|

Updated 3/29/2023 – In response to NCAC's letter, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools claims that both books were "reviewed by their schools' Committees before being permanently removed from those schools' shelves." On 3/8/23 - The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, to object to the district's removal of the books Let’s Talk About It and Sex [...]

NCAC protests cancellation of play at Northwest Allen County Schools | Updated

By |2023-05-09T12:53:15-04:00March 3rd, 2023|Blog, Letters, News|

Updated 5/9/2023 – Students from Northwest Allen County Schools' high school are staging the play independently from the school district. The students plan to perform the play on May 20, 2023. 3/3/2023 – The National Coalition Against Censorship has written a letter to the School Board of Northwest Allen County Schools in Indiana to protest the cancellation of the high [...]

NCAC Statement in Support of Texas House Bill 1945

By |2023-03-10T16:49:57-05:00March 1st, 2023|News, Press Releases, Statement|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has issued the following statement of support for Texas HB 1945 The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) is an alliance of more than 50 national non-profit literary, artistic, religious, educational, professional, labor, and civil liberties groups that are united in their commitment to freedom of expression. NCAC is writing in support of Texas House [...]

NCAC encourages St. Johns School District to adopt better policies for addressing book challenges

By |2023-03-10T16:52:20-05:00March 1st, 2023|In The News, Letters, News, Press Releases|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written a letter to St. Johns County School District in St. Augustine, Florida. Under their current policy, books are being removed during the review process, a practice we have long opposed. We encourage the District to adopt better policies for addressing book challenges in their schools. Read our full letter below, or click [...]

AAUP, AFT, NCAC Issue Statement Denouncing Florida HB 999

By |2023-03-10T16:53:15-05:00February 27th, 2023|Blog, News, Press Releases, Statement|

The AAUP,  the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) issued the following statement condemning the introduction of Florida HB 999.  With the introduction of HB 999, the Florida legislature—at Governor DeSantis’s urging—has doubled down on its attacks on academic freedom with a bill that would effectively silence faculty and students across the ideological [...]

NCAC monitors fate of The Cooper Union’s Vkhutemas exhibition

By |2023-05-12T17:20:10-04:00February 27th, 2023|Blog, Letters, News|

Photo Caption: Flickr user Vincent Desjardins via Creative Commons license UPDATE: 5/12/2023 -  Following initial postponements, the Vkhutemas exhibition opened to the public from April 25 - May 5, 2023. Cooper Union stated that the postponement was necessary to develop and incorporate an expanded framework for the exhibition, along with additional contextual materials and relevant programming to better address [...]

NCAC supports SPLC’s New Voices New York Bill

By |2023-03-10T16:54:19-05:00February 24th, 2023|News, Press Releases, Statement|

NCAC has released a statement in support of the Student Journalist Free Speech Act and applauding New York student activists' efforts to support student free press rights.  The act provides that, "a student journalist shall have the right to exercise free speech and of the press in school-sponsored media," and adds necessary protections for educators who advise and support [...]

Broward County Public Schools Improperly Removes Sex Ed Book During Review Process

By |2023-03-10T16:55:57-05:00February 24th, 2023|Blog, Letters, News, Press Releases|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC)  has shared a letter with the School Board of Broward County Public Schools in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, concerning a potential violation of district policy and the improper temporary removal of Erika Moen's and Matthew Nolan's book Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human from library shelves.   After [...]

NCAC Identifies Books Secretly Banned By Michigan School District | Updated

By |2023-04-12T13:03:39-04:00February 23rd, 2023|Blog, News, Press Releases|

Updated 4/12/2023 – In March, Superintendent Dan Behm issued a public apology for removing -books from school libraries. Some of the removed books have been returned to some or all the districts' libraries and are now available to students. However, others remain missing. The district is reportedly revising its policy for challenging books. As of March 30, 2023, Forest [...]

NCAC objects to Kutztown, PA School District’s cancellation of reading program

By |2023-02-23T21:07:40-05:00February 21st, 2023|Blog, In The News, News, Press Releases|

The National Coalition Against Censorship objects to Kutztown Area School District's Superintendent’s unilateral decision to cancel the One-Book Project following complaints about the climate change themes of the selected book. We urge the district to reinstate the project and adjudicate any challenges pursuant to the district's policy. Read NCAC's full letter to the Kutztown Area School District here: Click here [...]

NCAC asks Madison County, VA School Board to keep books in libraries

By |2023-02-23T21:08:26-05:00February 15th, 2023|Blog, News, Press Releases|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to Madison County School Board in Madison, Virginia, to express our concern with recent district policy changes requiring books that include "explicit sexual content" to be removed even if they have substantial educational value for students. It's our understanding that this policy has already led to the removal of over 20 books [...]

Pinellas County Schools Bypass District Policy and Remove ‘The Bluest Eye’ from Libraries | Updated

By |2023-11-28T10:42:35-05:00February 9th, 2023|News|

Updated 11/28/23 -Upon meeting with local students and media specialists, the Pinellas County Library Review Team returned The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison to school libraries. 2/9/23 - The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written a letter to the Pinellas County School Board in Largo, Florida regarding the district’s recent removal of the book The Bluest Eye by [...]

NCAC Demands Investigation of Secret Order to Ban Books   

By |2023-02-23T21:09:05-05:00February 8th, 2023|Blog, News, Press Releases|

NEW YORK, February 8, 2023 - The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) today demanded that officials in a western Michigan school district investigate whether their superintendent secretly ordered the removal of books, violating a policy that requires a formal review before a book is banned.  They also pointed officials to an audio recording in which a man who has [...]

NCAC Urges Ohio School District to Resume Canceled Student Production of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee’ | UPDATED

By |2023-02-14T16:09:52-05:00February 8th, 2023|News|

Updated 2/14/23 – According to the Geauga County Maple Leaf, the Cardinal School District Board of Education has reversed their decision to cancel the spring production. The play will go on as previously scheduled with minor revisions. On 2/8/23 – The National Coalition Against Censorship has written a letter to express our deep concerns over the cancellation of the high school [...]

New library collection policy at McKinney (Texas) Independent School District cause for concern

By |2023-02-23T21:09:51-05:00February 1st, 2023|Blog, In The News, News, Press Releases|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to McKinney Independent School District in McKinney, Texas, concerning a recent change to district policy.  The District has amended Board Policy EFB Local to exclude books from school libraries that contain material that appeals to "the prurient interest of a minor in sex, nudity, or excretion" or describes sexual activity in [...]

NCAC and SPLC to co-host an online event on fighting for press freedom in U.S. high schools

By |2023-02-23T21:10:41-05:00January 30th, 2023|Blog, Events, News, Press Releases|

NEW YORK - Student journalists play an essential role in their schools by covering complex and, at times, controversial issues that aim to broaden interest in contemporary issues among their peers and community members. The National Coalition Against Censorship's (NCAC) Student Advocates for Speech (SAS) project and the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) will host Fighting for Press Freedom: [...]