ACLU

Jefferson County School Board to Review History Curriculum

By |2019-03-07T23:05:04-05:00September 29th, 2014|Incidents|

UPDATE #1: Good news--the plan to 'review' AP History has been scrapped.   *UPDATE #2 : The controversies in JeffCo have still been brewing since NCAC's intervention. The district decided to establish a committee comprised of two board-appointed members, along with students, teachers, and curriculum experts selected by the District. The district hopes that that the issue regarding the curriculum will be [...]

NCAC Opposition to “Fifty Shades” Ban Big in the News

By |2019-03-15T17:22:23-04:00May 25th, 2012|Blog|

The meteoric sales of Fifty Shades of Grey and its subsequent banning from public libraries around the country--in particular in Brevard County, FL, has been all over the news this week. One of the most notable of the media pick-ups was a story in The New York Times on Monday about the debate over stocking the book in public libraries. The [...]

Democracy Now: Journalist Searched On Return From Haiti

By |2016-01-14T12:53:00-05:00February 15th, 2011|Blog|

Democracy Now! reports the Obama administration is continuing the Bush regime's policy of directing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to search and copy computers, smartphones, cameras, and hard drives of "listed" Americans returning to the United States. ACLU (NCAC member!) staff attorney Catherine Crump says "many journalists and lawyers who often work abroad have also experienced similar interrogations." The ACLU [...]

The End of Gene Patents? (Part 2)

By |2019-03-20T14:20:06-04:00April 5th, 2010|Blog|

Last summer, we reported that the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) were mounting a creative challenge to the constitutionality of gene patents, a questionable practice which till now was supported by U.S. Government policy.  The US Patent and Trademark Office has regularly granted property interests in certain types of living organisms and their constituent parts, including genes, the [...]

There’s no such thing as a “safe library”

By |2019-03-13T18:18:59-04:00July 17th, 2009|Blog|

The phrase “safe libraries” should always raise a red flag. Proponents for “safer libraries” argue that some information is inherently dangerous, but the First Amendment is designed to ward off the suppression of information. In the case of  internet filters intended to block sexually explicit material, librarians and community members have to ask the questions, “Safe for whom?” and “Safe [...]

Update: Judge Agrees with Teens in Pennsylvania Sexting Case

By |2019-03-07T22:40:50-05:00March 31st, 2009|Blog|

A victory for free expression! Last week, three Pennsylvania high school students and their families brought suit against a Wyoming County prosecutor over allegations of First Amendment violations. Yesterday, a U.S. District judge sided with the teens, and issued a temporary restraining order against the prosecutor. The judge held that the prosecutor's proposed action violated free speech and parental rights. [...]

The Right to “Sext”: Sending Nude Photos of Oneself is a Right

By |2019-03-14T17:32:57-04:00March 26th, 2009|Blog|

Another legal action over the practice of sexting has emerged. Only this time it is the alleged “sexters” who are suing state prosecutors on the grounds that criminalizing sexting infringes on their First Amendment rights. Last month, three high school students in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania faced the threat of being charged with the possession/dissemination of child pornography, when their school [...]

ACLU sues Nassau County, FL to allow Gay-Straight Alliances

By |2019-03-13T15:15:02-04:00February 18th, 2009|Blog|

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the School Board of Nassau County, Florida for denying students permission to open Gay-Straight Alliances in Jacksonville’s Yulee HS and Middle School. In prohibiting the GSA, school district’s superintendent, John L. Ruis, is quoted in the State saying, “A club highlighting sexual orientations will not be permitted as it would [...]

The Week in Book Censorship

By |2019-03-13T15:16:33-04:00February 6th, 2009|Blog|

It has been a busy week for book censorship. On Tuesday, MSNBC reported that The Bookseller of Kabul, a nonfiction account of life inside an Afghan household, was removed from a high school in Wyandotte, Michigan. The book had been assigned for an 11th grade honors English class at Roosevelt High School. MSNBC quotes a former teacher at the school: [...]

Charges Refiled Against Student Photographer

By |2019-03-13T15:17:15-04:00January 30th, 2009|Blog|

The Daily Collegian reports that charges of failure to disperse and disorderly conduct have been refiled against Michael Felletter, the student photographer who was accused of "taking photographs that would excite the crowd and encourage destructive behavior" after taking photographs on assignment at a riot following an Ohio State football game. The charges were dropped last week only to be [...]

Students, Principals and fake Myspace profiles

By |2019-03-14T17:32:40-04:00December 12th, 2008|Blog|

Yesterday we wrote about the student who was suspended for a Facebook page she created criticizing her teacher. Today: we look at two Myspace student cases facing the court. In Layshock v. Hermitage School District, high school senior Justin Layshock created a fake Myspace profile of Hickory High School principal Eric Trosch. The profile said that Trosch was a “big [...]

Former Student Sues School After Suspension for creating Facebook Page

By |2019-03-12T18:27:55-04:00December 11th, 2008|Blog|

In November 2007 Katherine Evans, a senior at Pembroke Pines Charter High created a Facebook group criticizing her teacher. Three other students weighed in to comment: all supporting the teacher. Two days later Evans took down the page. Two months later, the school principal Peter Bayer told Evans that she would be suspended for three days for “bullying and cyberbullying [...]

It gets juicier

By |2019-03-12T18:28:16-04:00December 11th, 2008|Blog|

JuicyCampus sues Tennessee State University. Bonus: Excellent editorial from Brandeis University's student newspaper on why Brandeis should not ban JuicyCampus. Excerpt: "Students encouraging administrative control of which pages students can and cannot view on Brandeis' network are encouraging a restriction of their First Amendment rights."

ACLU’s case for Professor Adam Habib continues

By |2019-03-14T17:32:34-04:00December 9th, 2008|Blog|

Professor Adam Habib has been barred from speaking at US universities, presumably for his critique of the US and Middle East foreign policies. Today, After the government moved to dismiss the case, Judge George O’Toole of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that the case will proceed. A South African scholar, Habib has written at the [...]

Berkeley: From Free Speech to No Offense Permitted

By |2019-03-07T21:50:02-05:00December 8th, 2008|Blog|

A recent incident a Berkeley's Addison Street Gallery forced the City to review its guidelines on art shown in the gallery. The guidelines, which included a blanket ban on any representations of guns, had led to the cancellation to The Art of Democracy, a touring poster show. After letters from the ACLU and NCAC, the City decided to modify its [...]

Racism, Obama and free expression

By |2019-03-12T18:32:19-04:00November 12th, 2008|Blog|

The victory of Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election has shown us signs of improving race relations in this country. Sadly this isn't the case some areas of the south where the election of the United States first black president have increased already high racial tensions. In North Carolina State University, four students spray-painted threatening and racist graffiti aimed at the [...]

ACLU sues school for violating First Amendment

By |2019-03-12T18:32:28-04:00November 12th, 2008|Blog|

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Fall Brook High School for violating free speech rights by getting rid of its journalism class and removing the faculty advisor to the school's newspaper after disputes over two articles. The first article was about the school board's refusal to close Fall Brook High School during the wildfires last year and [...]