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Censorship in School

"Intellectual Freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored. Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas."—Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q & A
"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."—Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas," The One Un-American Act." Nieman Reports, vol. 7, no. 1 (Jan. 1953): p. 20.

“The Fourteenth Amendment, as now applied to the States, protects the citizen against the State itself and all of its creatures—Boards of Education not excepted. These have, of course, important, delicate, and highly discretionary functions, but none that they may not perform within the limits of the Bill of Rights. That they are educating the young for citizenship is reason for scrupulous protection of Constitutional freedoms of the individual, if we are not to strangle the free mind at its source and teach youth to discount important principles of our government as mere platitudes.” — Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

“It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate....In our system, students may not be regarded as closed-circuit recipients of only that which the State chooses to communicate.”—Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, in Tinker v. Des Moines Community School District

Links to Information on the First Amendment and Intellectual Freedom

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.

ALA Policies and Statements on the Freedom to Read

ALA Statements and Policies

Library Bill of Rights

Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights

ALA Code of Ethics

Libraries: An American Value

Freedom to Read Statement

Freedom to View Statement

Intellectual Freedom Resolutions

Intellectual Freedom Resolutions

Other Policies and Guidelines

Minors, Libraries, and the Internet

ALA Intellectual Freedom Policies and the First Amendment

The Freedom to Read Statement

Other Sources

For Young People

Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q & A

Anti-Censorship (National Council of Teachers of English)


The Bible & Public Schools: A First Amendment Guide

What You Can Do To Oppose Censorship

Schools and the Children's Internet Protection Act

See also Dealing with Challenges

See also Reporting a Challenge

See also Shooting The Messenger: Why Censorship Won't Stop Violence

New Stories on Students and Their First Amendment Rights

News Sources on Censorship, Intellectual Freedom, and the First Amendment


Banned Books

Banned Books and Censorship

Banned Books On-line

Banned Books Week

Bonfire of Liberties: Censorship of the Humanities

Book Burning

Council of Trent: Rules on Prohibited Books

Selected Books and Web Sites

Links to non-ALA sites have been provided because these sites may have information of interest. Neither the American Library Association nor the Office for Intellectual Freedom necessarily endorses the views expressed or the facts presented on these sites; and furthermore, ALA and OIF do not endorse any commercial products that may be advertised or available on these sites.