ERIC Number: ED194957
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: N/A
First Amendment: Curriculum, Libraries, and Textbooks.
Alexander, M. David
Attempts at censorship of books and periodicals used or made available in public schools have been increasing in recent years. Parents are raising a higher proportion of the complaints than ever before, and the percentage of complaints that are successful in having books removed from shelves is also on the rise. Three of seven federal court decisions in this area reached during the period 1972-1979 were made in the Second Circuit and upheld school board decisions to remove materials from classrooms, libraries, or the curriculum on the grounds that the school board is charged with selecting materials that will uphold community values, and thus has the authority to remove materials that do not uphold those values. In three other cases, heard in the Sixth and First Circuits, federal courts held that First Amendment rights to freedom of speech necessarily implied a "freedom to receive" information and that removal of books once available on the grounds that their content was unacceptable abridged that freedom to receive. In these courts, the notion that the school board has the right to set the curriculum was generally accepted, while removal of books from the library by the board raised further issues less easily resolved. (Author/PGD)
Descriptors: Board of Education Policy, Board of Education Role, Censorship, Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Freedom of Speech, Library Material Selection, Reading Material Selection, Textbook Content, Textbook Evaluation, Textbook Selection, Textbook Standards
Not available separately; see EA 012 963.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.
Identifiers: First Amendment
Note: Chapter 8 of "School Law in Contemporary Society" (EA 012 963). For related documents, see EA 012 963-980.