Rights to dissent and protest cannot be sacrificed even, and perhaps particularly, in times of public emergency.
On August 3 and 4, two students at North Paulding High School in Dallas, GA, posted pictures to social media showing students in crowded hallways where social distancing was clearly impossible. Most students were not wearing masks. Unsurprisingly, the pictures immediately became a topic of discussion in the national media. In response, the school suspended the students on the grounds [...]
Editors Note: This statement was first published by NCAC and Defending Rights and Dissent on July 17, 2020. It was re-published on July 30, 2020 to reflect new developments and 45 additional co-signatories. Unidentified federal law enforcement agents in Portland, Oregon, have detained protesters, whisking them away in unmarked cars. This shocking practice is evocative of repressive methods used by [...]
WINDSOR, VT -- The Mt. Ascutney School District Board has removed Windsor School Principal Tiffany Riley from her position after she stated on her personal Facebook account that she disapproved of some of the tactics used by some Black Lives Matter activists. In response, NCAC has written to the school board urging them to rescind their decision to remove Ms. [...]
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 [...]
Editors Note: NCAC, joined by 55 organizations, released the following statement on June 8, 2020. The American people have witnessed the bravery of health care providers and other essential workers who have put their lives on the line to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Now that we face another national crisis following the death of George Floyd, it is important to [...]
NCAC has signed three letters urging state and local officials to uphold First Amendment rights during the protests over the death of George Floyd. It has joined Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 16 other press freedom, journalism, and civil liberties organizations in calling on Governors Tim Walz of Minnesota, Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York, and [...]
As millions of students and teachers adjust to virtual learning in response to the coronavirus pandemic, NCAC will offer teachers the opportunity to host virtual presentations on free speech and the First Amendment by guest speakers from our staff of experts.
NCAC has filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to hear the case of a combat veteran who was arrested after he swore at a Department of Veterans Affairs employee on the telephone.
Free speech and government transparency organizations call for the United States Senate to allow full press access to the current impeachment proceedings.
Commissioners in Citrus County, Florida, recently voted against allocating funds for a digital subscription to the New York Times for county libraries based on political disagreement with the paper.
When agencies use social media to keep tabs on people they perceive as suspicious, it has a disparate impact on historically overpoliced communities, especially communities of color.
In August, the National Park Service issued a proposed rule to introduce fees for holding protests on the National Mall, posing a serious threat to Americans' right to free speech and assembly.
Columbia County Superintendent removed three novels from the proposed high school curriculum despite teachers' recommendations.
The National Coalition Against Censorship is grateful to the incredible artists who have generously donated to this year's NCAC Art Auction. The works will be displayed on Monday, November 11th at Let Me Speak: A Celebration of Free Speech and Its Defenders, NCAC's annual benefit in New York City. The auction is hosted online by Paddle8. Click here to [...]
Svetlana Mintcheva, NCAC's Director of Programs, presented a talk at the Harvard Law School Library on the effects contemporary moral outrage has on the arts and culture.
This list of our best resources on censorship and the First Amendment in schools will help you get ready for the school year.
By seeking to punish Assange for the publication of secret information, the Justice Department has crossed a line that threatens the public's right to view information that is damaging to the government.
Federal courts have repeatedly affirmed that prisoners have a First Amendment right to read, and publishers and others have a right to send them reading materials. And state departments of corrections have repeatedly instituted broad book bans.
When a nation built on broad protections for speech faces times of deep political division, it must draw a firm line between freedom of speech and violent conduct or disruptive behavior aimed at silencing others.
Image courtesy of Drew Kerr The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) urges Queens Library to restore an exhibition of photographs it canceled and allow it to run for three weeks as originally planned. Drew Kerr’s exhibition, Faces of The 7 Train, consists of 32 black-and-white photographs that the artist shot of passengers on the 7 train over the course of [...]
NCAC has joined with 17 other organizations in filing a brief with the US Supreme Court in the case of Prison Legal News v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections.
The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation will give its First Amendment Lifetime Achievement Award to Joan Bertin, longtime Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship.
The university was sued by a group of students for failing to protect them from peer-on-peer harassment by not banning a social media app. NCAC writes in support of the university's commitment to free speech.
The Masterpiece Cake case that is currently before the Supreme Court is not about speech--it is about conduct. The First Amendment protects the baker’s right to condemn gay marriage, but it does not exempt him from obeying otherwise valid and neutral business regulations that require that he treat his customers equally.
NCAC has urged an Oklahoma board of education to rescind its policy of disciplining students who do not stand during the national anthem as students have the right to peaceful and non-disruptive political speech, which includes the right to protest.
The violent protesters of Charles Murray need to understand a basic principle: the right to speech exists for all, or for none.
The removal of artworks by incarcerated Native American activist Leonard Peltier from a Washington state government building raises serious First Amendment concerns.
This is a good, concise history of abuses by the intelligence community and offers a great argument against warrantless surveillance. Without that break-in by the Media 8, J. Edgar Hoover’s “shadow FBI,” a criminal conspiracy at the heart of a developing national security state, might never have been revealed. (The CIA, officially banned from domestic spying on Americans, turned out [...]
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.
If you love libraries, you might know that today marks the anniversary of an important decision upholding the First Amendment in schools. In Board of Ed. v. Pico (1982), the plurality opinion stated that school libraries have “special characteristics” as providers of free access to information, and should be especially vigilant of upholding students’ First Amendment rights. Pico began when [...]
The following post was written by NCAC's summer legal intern, Ryan Gander. Ryan is a current student at Columbia Law School. His interests include philosophy, civil liberties, science fiction, and video games. The Supreme Court has a troubled relationship with the First Amendment and that’s not even talking about what goes on in the courtroom. Since 1949, federal law has [...]
(applause for alliteration, please) This month we've been working on restoring two children's picture books teaching tolerance for different types of families. Though they are quite different in content, tone, reading level and appropriateness, their challenges parallel one another immensely. Book one is The Family Book by Todd Parr, a peppy, colorful and simple picture book teaching that families might be [...]
After a busy week working to fight back against book bans and challenges, we were thrilled to see some good news. A Tulsa school district recently heard a parent's challenge to the book Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford. The parent who challenged the book called the book "vulgar, vulgar, vulgar," objecting to its references to masturbation, pornography and an [...]
This morning, we took a moment to capture a bit of the action at Zuccotti Park in the wake of the late night, NYPD eviction of the encampment that had lasted almost two months. Here, a participant in the Occupy Wall Street movement talks about the judge's restraining order stating protestors must be allowed entrance to Zuccotti Park (pending a [...]
Photo by rosipaw on Flicrk This week, Stephanie Mencimer at MotherJones.com reported on horrifying cases of harassment and suicides in the Anoka-Hennepin schools of Minnesota, in Rep. Michelle Bachman’s district. The article, published within days of a suit filed against the district by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has further mobilized advocates calling for expanded anti-bullying policies and [...]
After a member of the La Salle University's faculty hosted an optional symposium with special guests (read: exotic dancers), the editors of the university's paper The Collegian knew they had a story on their hands. One of the Collegian staff members interviewed two students who had attended the conference, as well as university officials and the professor himself. But the [...]