NCAC has signed on to a statement authored by the Student Press Law Center in response to the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper and the targeting of journalists.
School Cancellation of Muslim Speaker Continues Disturbing National Trend of Suppressing Speech in Response to Threats
The cancellation of a scheduled appearance by a Muslim guest speaker at a Connecticut public school is the latest disturbing example of suppressions of free speech in museums, on college campuses and now at middle schools in response to threats of violence.
A Part Time Indian Challenged in Minnesota School District; UPDATE: After NCAC Action, Principal Recommends Book Remain in Curriculum
The objecting New London parents say that the book features “gratuitous and unnecessary” profanity and sexual references.
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.
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has joined the UK based Index of Censorship and other members of ARTSFEX, an international civil society network actively concerned with the right of artists to freedom of expression, in a statement condemning an alarming worldwide trend in which violent protest silences artistic expression that some groups claim is offensive. The below statement was issued [...]
The leaves are starting to change, everyone’s back to the school and work routine, and the weather’s turning chilly—the perfect time for a movie marathon of NCAC’s top 40 censored flicks. Begin reading with our #40 pick, an NC-17 film from 2013 that received a chilly welcome in Idaho.
Austin Guerrero of Gresham, OR placed third with his dramatic action thriller “Initial Testing," in which a night playing video games veers into the unknown, in the tradition of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. After complaining that he’s bored with “easy” shooter games, a friend gives Grant a challenge like he’s never imagined. What will Grant do when the [...]
Check out today's Times of Trenton op-ed page for a piece by NCAC Executive Director Joan Bertin calling out the dubious logic and "research" behind a bill the New Jersey legislature just passed that would put the state Department of Education in charge of a disinformation campaign to scare parents about the effects of "violent media." This kind of initiative [...]
This morning's news feeds boasted two stories that grabbed our attention, in particular because they dovetail so perfectly with the recent controversy in Chicago Public Schools surrounding Persepolis. One is about drama that has ensued after the California DOE decided to include more gay-themed books in its school curricula. This brings up vital curricular and cultural issues, but for the purposes [...]
In an interview with PBS station WTTW Chicago last night, Barbara Jones, Executive Director of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, of the Chicago Teachers Union and two Lane Tech Seniors spoke about the removal of Persepolis from classrooms in Chicago Public Schools. You can watch the interview here, but this particular moment stood out as a perfect response to anyone who might [...]
This is a new one: apparently eating a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun (or a mountain, it was open to interpretation...) is "using food to make an inappropriate gesture" and a reason for suspension. Dear parents, make sure to talk to your child about imaginary pastry violence.
Early in February, we wrote a letter in response to reports that the public library in Paterson, NJ had banned the playing of video games on their public computers. While the policy was conceived with children in mind, it ostensibly applied to anyone. Despite reports to the contrary, as soon as we sent them a stern letter, the library back-pedaled, claiming [...]
This weekend, the New York Times featured comments on the debate over violent media in its Sunday Dialogue segment. The letters were written in response to one penned by Susan Linn, director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. A couple of the responses were thoughtful and incisive; others, not so much. Here are the highs and lows... HIGHS From Chris [...]
Speaking of stories straight out of the 1950s playbook, here's one from right after New Years: A group in Southington, CT decided to collect and destroy violent video games, bribing incentivizing resident participation with a $25 gift certificate for other forms of happy-sunny family fun, like a trip to a water park. In a somewhat contradictory statement, the group stated that "there is ample [...]
Several works being taught in AP English classes in Katy, TX were removed or replacafter complaints. Fight Club by Chuck Palaniuk, A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley and Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants" were among the objectionable titles.
New York City may have been on pause for a bit after superstorm Sandy, but censorship attempts were certainly not taking a break. The mother of an 8th grader at Bromley East Charter School in Brighton, Colorado evidently lodged a complaint to the school's administration and to the media about one of the most frequently taught short stories of all [...]
Last Monday the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 to strike down a California law that banned the selling of violent video games to minors. The Supreme Court ruled that video games are allowed the same protection under the first amendment as books, plays, and movies. The ruling also distinguished the California statute from the Ginsburg vs. New York decision, in which [...]
This Fact Sheet answers some frequently-asked questions about social science research into the effects of media violence. The bottom line is that despite the claims of some psychologists and politicians, the actual research results have been weak and ambiguous. This should not be surprising: media violence is so pervasive in our lives, and comes in so many different contexts and [...]
On June 27, 2011, the Supreme Court put an end to the attempts of state and local lawmakers to censor violent video games. Or at least, one hopes so. After two decades of political grandstanding, vaguely drafted laws, and unproven claims that “excessive” or “gratuitous” violence in this particular medium of entertainment has harmful effects on children and teenagers, Justice [...]
NCAC devotes the latest issue of Censorship News to video games and the latest in a series of efforts to “protect” minors by restricting their freedom of speech. We discuss the video game case heard in the Supreme Court on November 2, Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association. The Court will decide whether the state can impose criminal penalties for selling [...]
Like all the other forms of expression that were feared initially – including the printing press – video games will certainly become part of mainstream culture, and the anxiety over their effects on young people will appear foolish in retrospect.
Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association et al: The brief challenges a California law designed to prevent minors from purchasing "violent video games." The law requires that any violent video game "that is imported into or distributed in California for retail sale" be labeled with a two inch by two inch label marked "18."
This is a familiar debate. In 1948, the Supreme Court rejected the claim that graphic crime stories and reports corrupt minors and contribute to juvenile crime and anti-social behavior.
We couldn’t make this up. Not so long ago, Yale University Press, on direction from the university, pre-emptively self-censored images of Mohammed from The Cartoons that Shook the World by Jytte Klausen, a scholarly examination of the controversy that erupted over the publication of cartoon images of Mohammed by the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. Yale’s action was met by a torrent [...]
NCAC, AAUP and Others Issue Call to Action Over Censorship in Response to Threats of Violence, Real and Imagined
The National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Association of University Professors, joined by leading groups in the academic, civil liberties, journalism, and free speech fields, issued a Statement of Principle and Call to Action urging governments, institutions and private individuals to support freedom of expression and academic freedom, and to resist caving in to threats of violence, real and [...]
Video games are ruining our children! A look at an amicus brief supporting CA violent video game law
Spilling a little red type. GamePolitics does quick work on an amicus brief filed by the Eagle Forum (“leading the pro-family movement since 1972”) supporting California’s video game law by highlighting the most problematic claims of the brief. As GamePolitics writes, “In the amicus brief, the Eagle Forum lays an array of societal problems at the feet of violent video [...]
The art work of four art students at Ceres’ Central Valley High School (Ceres, CA) was rejected from the annual Young Masters Art Show. The Art Show, hosted by the Mistlin Gallery in downtown Modesto, CA, features the work of young people ages 1 through 18. Art teachers are allowed to submit 20 pieces (two per student), with all entries [...]
A recent incident a Berkeley's Addison Street Gallery forced the City to review its guidelines on art shown in the gallery. The guidelines, which included a blanket ban on any representations of guns, had led to the cancellation to The Art of Democracy, a touring poster show. After letters from the ACLU and NCAC, the City decided to modify its [...]