ALA's Most Challenged Books list for 2018 is dominated by LGBTQ stories and characters, reflecting a growing trend.
Despite hard-won progress towards LGBTQ equality, books centering LGBTQ characters and stories remain among the most frequently challenged and banned in schools and libraries. The freedom to read stories about people of diverse sexual and gender identities can validate and empower all youth, especially those who may identify as LGBTQ. When LGBTQ youth do not see themselves represented in [...]
NCAC supports the Houston Public Library’s commitment to open and diverse programming.
The National Coalition Against Censorship supports Rumford Public Library’s display and freedom to choose how best to serve their community.
Controversy arose over the announcement that the library would host the family-focused program, which features reading, singing and crafts presided over by drag queens.
A library in Temple, Texas was criticized for highlighting LGBT-themed books during June 2017's celebration of Pride Month and equal space was demanded for anti-LGBT material.
A parent in Etiwanda, California is complaining that a celebrated children's book about tolerance and diversity is not "appropriate" for a kindergarten classroom.
A conservative legal group's threat to sue a school over the planned reading of a book about a transgender child is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how the First Amendment applies to public schools.
A conservative law firm threatened to sue a Wisconsin school over a reading and discussion of the picture book I Am Jazz. The district canceled the November 23 reading.
From defending challenged library books to promoting campus free speech to identifying nudity double standards on social media, here are a few of the folks we consider Free Speech Heroes in 2015.
NCAC congratulates the students of Cherokee Trail High for speaking up and speaking out against censorship, and is gratified that the administration chose to do the right thing by respecting its students' free expression rights.
Last December, a guidance counselor in rural Pennsylvania read a children’s book about a dress-wearing boy to a kindergarten class without advance notice to the parents, upsetting some residents in the district.
Update: A review committee unanimously decided to keep the book, though an appeal is possible. NCAC's Kids' Right to Read Project has written the Fauquier County Public Schools superintendent and board with regard to a challenge to David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing in the Fauquier High School library, because of objections to the same-sex themes explored in the book. We [...]
In a joint letter with the ACLU-SC and eight other partner organizations, NCAC defended academic freedom and criticized attempts by the South Carolina State Legislature to punitively defund state universities for assigning LGBT-themed books.
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 [...]
Despite concerns the Smithsonian's Flashpoints and Faultlines forum would be a bland showcase designed to obscure the institution's commitments to First Amendment principles instead of examining them, last night's opening panels included direct criticism from the dais of Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough's decision to censor David Wojnarowicz's "A Fire In My Belly" from the Hide/Seek exhibit at the [...]
A joint statement by the NCAC, ABFFE, AICA-USA, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, AAP, Catholics for Choice, and other art and free speech organizations protesting the removal of David Wojnarowicz’s 1987 video Fire in My Belly from the National Portrait Gallery in response to pressure from the Catholic League and Republicans in Congress.
We were gratified to learn of a kind mention last week from librarian Lizzy Burns in her thoughtful blog A CHAIR, A FIREPLACE & A TEA COZY concerning one example of the kind of work the NCAC does every day. You can find the original post here. The latest wrinkle in the story: Revolutionary Voices has been pulled from not [...]
6/23/2009 updated 11/5/2010 — In April 2009, students in Knoxville, Tennessee successfully challenged the Internet filtering policy in place at their school which was blocking access to LGBT websites. After the ACLU filed a lawsuit on the students' behalf, the school districts in question consented to change the filter settings that were unconstitutionally blocking the websites.
In February 2009, NCAC and the ACLU of Tennessee jointly responded to a situation at a Knoxville, TN high school where internet filters are currently blocking constitutional protected material on the web, specifically sites that provide political and educational content around LGBT issues. The censorship was discovered by Andrew Emmitt, a senior at Central High School: When I found out [...]
Recently NCAC was contacted by a high school student who was having difficulty accessing particular LGBT websites from his school. Upon further investigation this student uncovered the likely culprit- an internet filtering policy that includes the blocking of “Sites that provide information, promote, or cater to gays, lesbians, swingers, other sexual orientations or practices, or a particular fetish.” The policy [...]
ProChoice IDEA - Summer/Fall 1997 Sex and the Censors Censorship of anything related to sex is on the rise. Here are some recent examples: The police in Oklahoma City seized copies of the Academy-Award winning film, The Tin Drum, after a local group complained about it and a judge called it "obscene." The Wall Street Journal reported that the new [...]
Penny Culliton, a New Hampshire teacher who fought back against attempts to smear and ultimately fire her, has been reinstated by the Mascenic School Board following a decision of the state's Public Employee Labor Relations Board. The Labor Board upheld an arbitrator's previous award that had turned Culliton's dismissal into a one-year suspension.