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 [...]
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 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 [...]
How does the First Amendment protect the rights of students and teachers? This guide provides background on the legal and practical questions surrounding school censorship controversies.
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 [...]
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.
Tanya Lee Stone In 30 years, Tanya Lee Stone has written more than 100 books. Her latest, Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time, is emblematic of the tales she enjoys telling: stories from the perspectives of marginalized groups in society. Her award-winning novel, A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, is about [...]
Alan Gratz Alan Gratz has written over a dozen award-winning books for young readers. His latest YA novel, Ban This Book, tells the story of Amy Anne Ollinger, an avid reader who organizes a campaign of resistance when her favorite book and several other titles are removed from the school library. It’s funny, uplifting, enlightening and above all, [...]
If you are embroiled in a censorship controversy, this is the resource for you. NCAC's action kit offers practical advise for understanding, addressing and fighting censorship incidents.
Yesterday, NCAC, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and 6 other free speech and education groups defended Ariel Schrag's acclaimed anthology Stuck in the Middle, which had been challenged in a school library in Oklahoma. NCAC joined CBLDF to ask Schrag for her thoughts on the challenge.
NCAC's Executive Director and Millie Davis from NCTE explore why books are challenged in schools and libraries and the common responses to these challenges in a comparison between two surveys.
For Banned Books Week, the Kids' Right to Read Project has released its annual recap of book censorship cases. Labeling books "sexually explicit", the teaching of Islam in schools and sanitizing slavery, it's all here in the form of a handy, printable flyer.
NCAC spoke to YA author Coe Booth about the recent controversy in Chesterfield, of which her book was at the center, and why reading diverse books can help establish a sense of commonality.
For Banned Books Week, NCAC spoke to Kate Messner about why young students should access a diverse range of experiences in their readings.
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.
Guernica magazine featured a great interview with frequently challenged and banned author, Sherman Alexie. Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has appeared on the ALA's most challenged list in both 2010 and 2011; the Kids' Right to Read Project has defended the book in Missouri, Oregon and Washington state, to name just a few. In the interview, Alexie answers [...]
During Banned Books Week last week, the PEN American Center featured an essay on the topic of book censorship and young adult readers by author Keith Gray. In his article, Gray talks about how he is frequently worrying about, not his teen readers, but the gatekeepers. Gatekeepers are basically any adult who might be on the road between the teen [...]
Last week, in the midst of the media derecho catapulting the celebration of Banned Books Week, we came upon this article in the Chicago Tribune written by author James Klise. Klise manages a high school library in Chicago and is the author of Love Drugged, which Booklist called “An excellent novel for classroom and GSA discussion."Love Drugged was also an ALA Stonewall Honor Book in 2011 [...]
“If you have freedom of speech, you have freedom of speech,” publishing legend Barney Rosset was quoted as saying. Rosset was responsible for the publication of many celebrated works of American literature, especially those that pushed the envelope in terms of sexual content. A staunch defender of the freedom to read, Rosset risked his reputation, business, and life on his [...]
On September 23, we brought our Banned Books Library to the Brooklyn Book Fest and let passersby read to us from some of their favorite titles. Better than cat videos, that's for sure! Check out the whole playlist on our YouTube channel. Want to participate in the Banned Books Week Virtual Readout? Shoot your own video! Click here for more [...]
School is back in session, and that means censorship attempts are back en force as well. Kids' Right to Read has tackled several challenges to summer reading selections recently, including on to Sidescrollers, a graphic novel by Matt Loux (Oni Press). The book about a group of slacker friends, was named one of the Young Adult Library Association's top ten [...]
The ACLU of Texas published their 16th annual Banned Books Report for the occasion of Banned Books Week this week and it both looks amazing and has great content. In addition to detailed information about books that were challenged and banned across the state in 2012, the report has a great interview with writer and activist Tony Diaz. Diaz joined NCAC and [...]
Millions of enchanted readers were saddened by the passing of beloved children’s book author Maurice Sendak at the age of 83 in May. His books, the most well-known being Where the Wild Things Are, captivated the imaginations of readers both young and old with their sometimes dark, fantastical stories. Because of the nature of his tales, many critics and censors marked his work [...]
Not long ago, The Missourian published its excellent J-student project of tracking and reporting on book challenges and bans across the state of Missouri. This week, the newspaper -- which uses a subscriber access model -- will be allowing all visitors to read and access the reporting, for free! Click here to read about what types of books were challenged in [...]
NCAC's event with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is tomorrow night! E-vite your friends, mark your iCalendars, write it on your hand, whatever, just come! What: Readings from everything from "Fifty Shades of Grey" to "Fanny Hill" to "Joe Blow" by readers including sexologist Dr. Logan Levkoff, comedy duo MURDERFIST and more. Where: The Village PourHouse, 64 3rd Ave in the East Village When: Tuesday, [...]
Throughout Banned Books Week we will feature banned and challenged authors who left us in 2012. This week celebrates these great writers and their works, which helped form the identities of many readers, young and old. A name now almost synonymous with American Science Fiction, Ray Bradbury brought that genre into the mainstream. Today, his books – which at the [...]
NCAC Executive Director Joan Bertin and Kids' Right to Read Coordinator Acacia O'Connor joined KPFA radio out of Berkeley, CA on Friday, speaking about the prevalence of book challenges today and the debate over a book ratings system. Barbara Jones, Director of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom also called in, along with Tony Diaz, founder of Libro Traficante, who shed some [...]