ERIC Number: ED215407
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: N/A
School Board Censorship: Library Books and Curriculum Materials.
Cambron-McCabe, Nelda H.
School board censorship of library books and of curriculum materials and methodology can infringe on fundamental constitutional rights, according to this seventh chapter in a book on school law. In the last decade, cases in federal courts have tended to support the authority of school boards to control library materials. However, board authority to remove books is not unlimited; the right to read and be exposed to controversial thoughts is guaranteed by the First Amendment. In matters related to board control over instructional materials and techniques, the courts have attempted to balance the rights of teachers to use discretion in performing classroom duties with the school board's interest in safeguarding the education and welfare of students. Issues pivoting on this question of conflicting rights and interests are generally decided on a case-by-case basis, and the rulings have been influenced by procedural questions, relevance of teacher behavior to subject matter, whether there is a threat of disruption, and community standards. If the courts adopted a standard of reasonableness to balance individual rights and board control, school boards could use discretion in removing books and materials as long as they could demonstrate that their decisions were motivated by legitimate educational concern. (Author/WD)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Board of Education Policy, Censorship, Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Courts, Instructional Materials, Media Selection, Student Rights, Teaching Methods, Textbook Selection, Textbooks
Not available separately; see EA 014 500.
Publication Type: Books; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.
Identifiers: First Amendment; Teacher Rights
Note: Chapter 7 of "School Law in Changing Times" (EA 014 500). For related documents, see EA 014 500-521.