Pipkin and Lent win Immroth Award

Contact: Nanette Perez, OIF Project Coordinator



For Immediate Release

June 13, 2003

Pipkin and Lent win Immroth Award

Gloria Pipkin and ReLeah Lent, former English teachers for Bay County, Fla., schools, have been named the winners of the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for Intellectual Freedom for 2003, presented by the American Library Association (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT).

The Immroth Award honors intellectual freedom fighters in and outside the library profession who have demonstrated remarkable personal courage in resisting censorship.
The award consists of $500 and a citation.

The Immroth Award Committee recognizes Pipkin and Lent for their ongoing public stand in defense of the freedom to read and intellectual freedom over two decades.
The teachers were plaintiffs in two separate First Amendment suits against their school board, superintendent and principal, in cases defending the right to read and the student press.
Their stories are the subject of their book
At the Schoolhouse Gate: Lessons in Intellectual Freedom (Heinemann, 2002).

“They set a standard of personal commitment, which serves as a model for all,” said Chair Pamela Bonnell-Mihalis.
“Amid death threats and continuing attacks on their personal and professional honor, their deep-seated commitment to the First Amendment did not waver.
Their steadfast stance restored banned and restricted books and defended an outstanding school newspaper as a forum for student expression.”

The award will be presented Saturday, June 21, 2003, at 2 p.m., during the IFRT program in the Rennaissance at Skydome Hotel, Northern Lights Ballroom, at the ALA Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada.

For more information on the award, see