Academic Freedom

National Organizations Condemn Cancellation of Student Production of Play ‘Indecent’ in Duval County, Florida

By |2023-01-10T14:15:07-05:00January 10th, 2023|News, Press Releases|

NEW YORK — The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), PEN America, and the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, organizations dedicated to artistic, intellectual, and academic freedom, today expressed deep concern over the cancellation of the student production of the play, Indecent, by the administration at Douglas Anderson School of Performing Arts in Duval County, Florida. The groups urged school officials [...]

Wilson County School Board in Lebanon, Tennessee, removes “Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)” and “Tricks”

By |2023-02-23T21:12:42-05:00January 10th, 2023|Blog, News, Press Releases|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) contacted Wilson County Schools Board in Lebanon, Tennessee, in regards to the School Board's decision to remove Tricks by Ellen Hopkins and Lev A.C. Rosen's Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) despite the book review committee's recommendations to retain the books. NCAC expressed concern that the board may have removed the titles due to disagreement with the [...]

NCAC reflects on past advocacy letters

By |2023-02-23T21:13:31-05:00January 5th, 2023|Blog, News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) wrote more than 46 letters responding to book challenges and bans in 17 states in 2022. Below are summaries of letters from October 14 – November 28, 2022, that were not individually highlighted on our website but were instrumental in advocating for students' First Amendment rights and fighting censorship in U.S. schools. NCAC worked to bring [...]

Spotsylvania, Virginia, School District Removes Books Without Review

By |2022-09-27T13:37:27-04:00September 27th, 2022|News|

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 [...]

Madison, Mississippi, School District Restricts Books on Race and LGBTQ+ Themes

By |2022-08-26T15:08:18-04:00August 26th, 2022|News|

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 [...]

Naples, Florida, School District Adds Hundreds of “Advisory Notices” to Library Books

By |2022-08-24T17:54:50-04:00August 24th, 2022|News|

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 [...]

NCAC Opposes Ban of Cartoon Protesting Violence Against Black People

By |2020-12-19T16:54:23-05:00August 27th, 2020|News|

NCAC, joined by ten organizations, is protesting a Texas school district’s decision to remove from a school website an editorial cartoon that was part of a class assignment because it criticizes the use of violence against Black people over the course of American history, including violence by police. The assignment was canceled after the National Fraternal Order of Police complained [...]

Departure of MassArt Professor Saul Levine Raises Academic Freedom Concerns

By |2020-01-03T15:50:41-05:00April 3rd, 2018|Press Releases|

After anonymous complaints about brief images of sexual acts in an avant-garde film shown in class, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design launched a sexual harassment investigation. Saul Levine, the professor teaching the class and the target of the investigation, who is also a well-regarded avant-garde filmmaker, resigned in protest. This incident raises serious concerns beyond the individual case.

Life Imitates Art: By Cancelling Play in Response to Controversy, Brandeis Compromises Freedom of Academic Discussion

By |2019-06-12T16:49:50-04:00November 8th, 2017|Blog|

Brandeis University has had to cancel a scheduled production of a play by Michael Weller after the playwright and the Theater Department failed to come to terms as to how the play would be presented.

Literary Classics Removed from High-School’s Alternative Reading List in Alaska

By |2020-01-03T15:44:35-05:00February 27th, 2017|Blog|

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, and Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian were flagged for "explicit, graphic" content.

Update on CU Boulder incident: faculty review could clear Adler to teach “Deviance” course

By |2020-01-03T14:08:16-05:00December 18th, 2013|Blog|

Updates are coming in on the threat to academic freedom at the University of Colorado Boulder. According to the Daily Camera (via the Chronicle of Higher Ed's Ticker blog), CU professor Patricia Adler might still have a chance to teach her "Deviance in U.S. Society" course as early as the Spring 2014 semester–if the class clears a review of Sociology faculty, [...]

Sociology Professor Sanctioned for Class on Prostitution at University of Colorado Boulder

By |2020-01-05T23:15:57-05:00December 17th, 2013|Blog|

Why is it that every time sex enters the conversation in academia, harassment always appears to shadow it? How perverse - and unfair to real victims of harassment -  that this serious charge is used against a professor for nothing else than creatively doing her job. In a lecture on prostitution, a highlight of her regular course on deviance, University [...]

Professors and Advocates Call Out Former Gov. Mitch Daniels for Egregious Censorship Attempts

By |2020-01-03T14:07:26-05:00July 25th, 2013|Blog|

For those of you who haven't yet heard, the Associated Press recently revealed that Mitch Daniels, now President of Purdue University, attempted to ban the works of acclaimed historian Howard Zinn from classrooms in Indiana during his tenure as that state's governor. In 2010, after Howard Zinn's passing, Daniels (seen here in an artist's rendering) wrote an e-mail to the [...]

Colorado Academic Center Institutes Censorship Regime After Controversy Over Student Art Work

By |2019-03-15T17:10:10-04:00April 20th, 2012|Blog|

Until a few weeks ago, the Arts Building at the Aurari Higher Education Center in Denver featured several walls emblazoned with the kindly decree to “Post Artwork Here.” However, in light of recent controversy over the graphic work that student Estee Fox hung on one of these walls, the “authorities” (that blissfully meaningless blanket term) have rechristened these areas as [...]

NCAC and FIRE Issue Joint Letter To Villanova U. on Cancellation of Tim Miller Artist-In-Residency

By |2020-01-03T13:43:21-05:00February 24th, 2012|Blog|

This week, Villanova University's administration cancelled a weeklong, artist-in-residency program led by performance artist Tim Miller. NCAC and FIRE are calling on Villanova to reverse this decision. The joint letter (below) points out that the decision to cancel Miller's residency violates the principle of academic freedom. Miller is known as one of the "NEA Four" – four artists whose grants [...]

Hazelwood: A Student’s Perspective

By |2020-01-03T13:42:59-05:00July 15th, 2011|Blog|

Two years ago I sat upon the graduation stage to receive a diploma that would end my 13-year relationship with the public school I attended since kindergarten.  As a member of a class of 125 students, this day symbolized endless shared memories and a common identity between us.  Out of the five speeches given, the three student speakers [...]

CUNY Likely to Reverse On Kushner, But The Pattern Stands

By |2020-01-03T13:40:36-05:00May 9th, 2011|Blog|

A Seattle billboard removed by Clear Channel Outdoor It is appalling that the trustees of CUNY voted not to bestow an honorary degree on Tony Kushner, the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, because a trustee disagreed with his views on Israel. Denying him this honor solely because of his political views violates core First Amendment principles and is [...]

Victory Over Transnational Libel Case Brought Against Book Review

By |2020-01-03T13:40:06-05:00March 8th, 2011|Blog|

In a victory for academic freedom, the Tribunal de Grand Instance de Paris has ruled against a libel case brought against Prof. Joseph Weiler for  GlobalLawBooks.org's review of The Trial Proceedings of the International Criminal Court. ICTY and ICTR Precedents, by Dr Karin N. Calvo-Goller. The judge ruled that Calvo-Goller engaged in forum shopping by selecting France as the venue [...]

In Censoring Art Gainesville State College President Violates Academic Freedom

By |2020-01-05T23:15:44-05:00February 17th, 2011|Blog|

Stanley Bermudez' Heritage? (above) had been displayed for just over two weeks at the Gainesville State College Gallery before Martha Nesbitt, the President of GSC, ordered its removal. The painting, which layers images of a Klansman and a lynching upon a Confederate battle flag, drew protests spurred by a post on Southern Heritage Alerts. The Heritage Preservation Association, which has [...]

The Weiler Affair and Globalized Censorship

By |2020-01-03T13:39:06-05:00February 14th, 2011|Blog|

Prof.  Joseph Weiler of NYU, and Editor-In-Chief of the European Journal Of Law, has contributed an incisive editorial regarding charges that he defamed an author through an unfavorable book review: ...I was summoned to appear before an Examining Magistrate in Paris based on a complaint of criminal defamation lodged by the author. Why Paris you might ask? Indeed. The author [...]

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