NEW YORK - The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) is an alliance of national nonprofit groups dedicated to protecting freedom of expression, including the rights of K-12 students, teachers, and staff. NCAC released the following statement to oppose the Arkansas Department of Education's restrictions on Advanced Placement African American Studies. On Saturday, August 12, the Arkansas Department of Education [...]
NCAC and FIRE Issue Joint Letter to Pennsylvania School District on Unconstitutional Policy Proposal
The National Coalition Against Censorship and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression have cowritten a letter to the Pennridge School District in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, demanding changes to a proposed policy that would unconstitutionally restrict the communications that students can distribute both on and off school grounds. The proposed policy is shockingly broad and impermissibly vague. If implemented it [...]
For this year’s YFEP Film Contest, we invited teens to create a film on the importance of expressing one’s gender and identity through personal appearance. The 3 winners tackled a wide range of polarizing, and often taboo, topics including gun violence, immigrant family separation, gender equality, toxic masculinity, shaming and bullying, and climate change. The Chairs of the New [...]
As part of NCAC’s virtual Celebration of Free Speech and Its Defenders Benefit, we are happy to announce the Let Me Speak Design Contest Series, a collection of three unique art contests: Becky Albertalli Fan Art Portugal The Man Boycott the Book Ban Logo NCAC Youth Free Expression Film Contest Logo Each contest is an opportunity for artists and designers [...]
The National Coalition Against Censorship continues its support of student-led protests by extending the deadline for its protest-themed film contest to May 15th. This year’s contest invites aspiring teen filmmakers to create short films on the value of protest as an instrument of social change. In the weeks leading up to the March for Our Lives and National School Walkouts [...]
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.
NCAC has released the following statement on the climate change controversy brewing in Portland: On May 17, the Public School Board of Portland, Oregon unanimously adopted a resolution to “Develop an Implementation Plan for Climate Literacy,” which concluded with this recommendation: “The implementation plan should include a review of current textbooks for accuracy around the severity of the climate crisis and the [...]
No Student Clubs Affiliated with Amnesty International, Says Ohio High School (Update: Decision Reversed)
A junior at New Albany High near Columbus organized an Amnesty International affiliate group at her school to discuss human rights and came under fire for promoting what some people thought to be an "anti-Israel" message. The school's principal ultimately reversed his decision to "protect" the student "from getting caught up in political lightning rod topics" and will allow the club to form next fall.
When students at Susan E. Wagner High School in Staten Island produced a photographic artwork critiquing rape culture and the sexualization of young women's bodies, the administration responded by removing the artwork, implicitly sexualizing the body of a young woman. Last week, a photo-collage was removed from a student exhibition in the lobby of the high school due to its [...]
Who gets to decide how history is taught? ACT! for America, a grassroots political advocacy group fighting "Islamofascism," is attempting to exert control over World History in Charlotte County, FL. NCAC has responded.
Our second place winner is “A Virtual Reality,” by Peter Ackerman of Augusta, Maine. Ackerman interviews friends, video game enthusiasts and a psychologist, in a lively documentary exploring gaming and its effect on gamers. A paintball excursion provides a unique backdrop to investigate how gamers separate virtual reality from violence in the real world. “It’s appealing to people it’s just [...]
The winner of this year’s Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest, addressing the theme Video Games in the Crosshairs, is “Future Warfare III” by Ani Akpan of the Bronx, NY. Using dazzling visual effects, Akpan thrusts the viewer into a near-future society where gaming approaches virtual reality and Big Brother takes a hard line stance, spurring gamers to speak back. [...]
Books like "When the Leopard Lost His Spots" can be useful tools to help kids understand gender and identity Every parent wishes their child could be spared the worst of life. War, lingering sickness, hurt and hate: all of these are things most would rather keep far distant from the lives of their children. Yet, we are all called to [...]
For the last few months, the West Palm Beach Library Foundation in Florida has been hosting the travelling exhibition Banned and Burned: Literary Censorship and the Loss of Freedom from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In addition, the Library asked students in the area to make their voices heard in their first-ever essay contest. The theme? Literary censorship. The Library Foundation recently [...]
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 [...]
One part the internet, one part kids... mix and the result is a recipe for parental anxiety, mixed opinions from professionals and politicians, and overreaching attempts to control access to information. (See: Harlem Shake meme) This week the ACLU of Rhode Island released a report, "Access Denied," showing that the use of internet filtering software is pervasive in R.I. schools and [...]
In case you blinked and missed it – the Harlem Shake video meme has been sweeping the internet for the past month. Tens of thousands of versions of the Harlem Shake video have been made and millions of viewers have watched them on YouTube and beyond. Everyone appears to have jumped on the meme wagon, firefighters, people in offices, division [...]
Combining a number of genres, Daniel Pritchard sends a unified message: ideas should be free to be shared and absorbed. Daniel is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!
April Jackson dramatizes a story about her sister, who was told by their mother she wasn't allowed to read Harry Potter because it contained witchcraft. April's short film is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!
Matthew Dunbar's short film is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!
Often the books we find the most affecting, the most informative are the ones others want to ban or keep us from reading. Alexis Opper's statement of youth power is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!
Sarah Grabman and Evan Horowitz submitted their whimsical reflection on how the censoring impulse can even seep into your own head and self-perfection. This film is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!
Kids these days! Daniel Boyle and Grace vanKan tell a story of enlightenment for our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!
Rebecca Onstott is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!
A person or group of people shouldn't limit what others can read and see, Naomi Clements expresses in her film. Naomi is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!
Sometimes those with authority are the ones telling you a book isn't appropriate, other times the voice of the censor is internalized. David Raygoza explores a battle over a good book in one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest Semifinalists. Click here and watch this year's semifinalist films and to learn more about our film contest. To [...]
Watch this awesome video by Gio Garcia, a student in Tucson, and find out! Gio is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest Semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner! New reports out about the dissolution of MAS in Texas indicate that the program [...]
If you want to express your thoughts, your feelings, your grief, your pain, or your opinions through poetry or art, you best wait until you're old enough to vote. Click here to watch interview In December, a 16-year-old high school student in New Jersey was arrested and thrown in juvenile detention just days before Christmas because of a [...]
It's that time of year -- yesterday we announced the semifinalists for the 2012 Youth Free Expression Film Contest and we couldn't be more excited. Reasons why we're excited: 1. Theme: Banned Books. This year's films asked students to respond to the prompt "You're Reading WHAT?!?" and talk about attempts to censor teens' reading choices - something dear to our [...]
Don’t mess with Abbe Klebanoff, the head of public services for Pennsylvania’s Lansdowne Public Library. She encouraged teens to create a music video called "Read It" to the music of Michael Jackson's song, "Beat It," and posted it on YouTube. What followed was predictable—Sony objected and took it down, claiming copyright infringement. The passionate Klebanoff, who spent weeks helping the teens [...]
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 [...]