While it is understandable that a novel that repeatedly uses a highly offensive racial slur would generate discomfort among some parents and students, the problems of living in a society where racial tensions persist will not be resolved by banishing literary classics from the classroom.
With a Texas school board set to meet on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to determine the fate of an acclaimed young adult novel in district libraries, a local teenager has emerged as a vital voice for freedom of inquiry and expression.
Deyshia Hargrave was inappropriately removed from a school board meeting in Louisiana. The First Amendment guarantees all Americans a right to speak, inquire and petition the government.
During a year of marked ideological divisions, the right to free expression has been challenged by everyone from the alt-right to the far left. Our core values have been attacked by activists across the political spectrum. In this tumultuous year, we commend the allies who refuse to be silenced and continue to defend the right to free speech and its value to our society.
An Open Letter to the Baltimore City Public School District: The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and its partners in the Kids’ Right to Read Project urge administrators to return BUCK: A Memoir by Professor M.K. Asante to the high school curriculum so that students can see their lives reflected in the books they read. Its removal was arbitrary and damaging to students.