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 [...]
CHICAGO — Sourcebooks, a leading independent publisher based in Chicago, and the American Library Association’s (ALA) book publishing imprint, ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman, announce the publication of “Read These Banned Books: A Journal and 52-Week Reading Challenge.” Available via the ALA Store as well as through bookstores nationwide, this interactive recommended reading list presents readers with a different banned or [...]
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 [...]
[Portland, OR, September 12, 2022] - Accessibility to books and diverse author voices is essential in understanding the human experience and the world at large. This concept is core to the work we do at A Kids Co., and it's why we've partnered with the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) to write A Kids Book About Banned Books, released [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Kyle Lukoff’s Call Me Max and Jazz Jennings’s I Am Jazz, which both feature transgender main characters, were removed from school libraries in Palm Beach County, Florida, without review. NCAC has written to the district urging them to immediately return the books to library shelves. The removal was purportedly in compliance with Florida House Bill 1557 which was recently signed [...]
NCAC has written to officials at Fredericksburg Independent School District in Texas after numerous books were removed from district libraries without a formal review based on arguments that they are “pervasively vulgar.” The books in question, which include, among others, Jesse Andrews’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, address issues that [...]
Texas Students Distribute BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Books During ‘FReadom Week’ Initiative | Student Perspective
When Jerry Craft's New Kid was banned from school libraries in Katy, Texas earlier this year for "pervasively vulgar" content, I defended his book and advocated against this inexplicable censorship. After that, school board meetings in Texas only intensified. After months of persistent demands for intellectual freedom being outnumbered by conservatives and drowned out by more book bans, we finally [...]
Jason Reynolds to headline Banned Books Week 2021, which has the theme, “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” Two of Reynolds' books for young people made the Top 10 banned and challenged books of 2020 for their handling of issues around racism and racial justice.
Seven states are considering legislation to ban the teaching of "divisive concepts," which encompasses certain teaching about social justice and structural inequality.
The Free Expression Educators Handbook contains practical tools and advice for managing book challenges and censorship controversies in schools and school libraries. The handbook, created by NCAC in collaboration with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), is intended for teachers, librarians, and school administrators. It offers guidance for educators developing inclusive and viewpoint-neutral instructional material policies, including sample [...]
A California school district removed the novel Ghost Boys, which tells the story of a Black boy shot by police, from its curriculum.
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 [...]
President Donald Trump is once again attempting to interfere with the publication of a book that he believes is critical of him. On June 16, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in an effort to block the June 23 release of The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, a book by John R. Bolton, Trump’s former national [...]
Following widespread protest by local citizens and national groups, including National Coalition Against Censorship, an Alaska school board has voted 6 to 1 to rescind its decision to remove five classic works of fiction from the reading list for 11th grade English classes. Students will once again be able to read: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya [...]
Banned Books Week 2020 declares Censorship is a Dead End: Find Your Freedom to Read. The annual celebration of banned books will be held from September 23-October 3, 2020.
Democracy was missing in action in Colton, California, when the Board of the Colton Unified School District voted to remove Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye from the District’s reading list.
Wyoming school district considering a book challenge filed by a parent who argued against books about LGBTQ characters being available to students.
This list of our best resources on censorship and the First Amendment in schools will help you get ready for the school year.
Joan Bertin (former executive director, NCAC), Toni Morrison, Fran Lebowitz “The thought that leads me to contemplate with dread the erasure of other voices, of unwritten novels, poems whispered or swallowed for fear of being overheard by the wrong people, outlawed languages flourishing underground, essayists’ questions challenging authority never being posed, unstaged plays, canceled films—that thought is a nightmare. As [...]
A group of pastors in Rumford, Maine are attempting to have LGBTQ books banned from the Rumford Public Library's display of banned books.
Often, the most frequently challenged books tell the stories that most need to be heard. The 10 most challenged books of 2017, according to the American Library Association, were no different.
A Dispatch from documenta 14: An International Art Exhibition in Which Book Censorship Plays a Central Role
documenta 14, an art festival occurring every 5 years, puts the issue of book censorship front and center this year.
NCAC is in the process of writing to the elementary school underlining that students have a First Amendment right to receive and possess literature, provided the books in question do not cause disruption to school activities.
NCAC Criticizes Politically Motivated Removal of ‘Jacob’s New Dress’ From North Carolina Lesson Plan
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and 6 other organizations committed to defending the right to read are urging a North Carolina school district to reinstate a children’s book in a 1st grade anti-bullying lesson plan after it was removed following pressure from local Republican lawmakers concerned about its gender-nonconforming themes.
The parents claim that the school taught solely Islamic religious practices in a World Culture and Geography curriculum, ignoring education in other world religions.
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.
NCAC Defends the Glass Castle over Concerns of ‘Disturbing’ Content; UPDATE: Review Committee Votes in Favor of Keeping the Book
A formal complaint was lodged by a local parent who was offended by the presence of profanity in the book, which includes passages that reference sexual assault.
Terms such as "inappropriate" are vague and over-inclusive, potentially leading to the exclusion of works of undeniable pedagogical value.
In a follow up letter, NCAC stresses the district that banned TKAM/ Huck Finn needs an innocent-until-proven-guilty approach to book challenges.
In his statement, the author of 'Bad Little Children’s Books' has asked ABRAMS not to print another edition of the book, because it has been so widely misunderstood and misconstrued.
With Banned Books Week on the horizon, PEN's report discusses NCAC's 'multipronged' approach to book challenges and the specific challenges censorship poses to diverse books.
Renae Roscart, 15, considers parents who argued for the reading list removal to be "pretending that sexual assault and alcoholism isn’t something that youths encounter."