ERIC Number: ED236726
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Censorship in Schools: A Missouri Community's Experience.
Edwards, Christie Lou
When parents called for the removal of certain classroom and library materials from the Mexico, Missouri, public schools in 1982, the Mexico Board of Education unanimously refused their request. After separate complaints about the magazine "Humanist," a film of Shirley Jackson's story "The Lottery," as well as her book "The Lottery: Adventures of a Demon Lover," and another book entitled "Julie of the Wolves" were rejected by an established review committee, the school board became the parents' last forum for local appeal. The complaints and subsequently formed parent-watchdog groups in Mexico reflected a national trend. A poll on censorship related issues indicated that (1) challenges to classroom and library materials occurred in more than one in five public schools between 1978 and 1980; (2) challengers had not fully read or viewed the materials cited as objectionable in one third of the cases; (3) more than one half of the challenges resulted in the removal, restriction, or limited availability of materials; and (4) challenges to schools with formal written selection and removal policies--like Mexico--were more likely to be overruled. While possibly stemming the flood of challenges to school districts' control over reading materials, the Supreme Court's 1982 Island Trees, New York, decision giving school boards only limited discretion in removing library books failed to provide guidelines for removal of materials and did not influence procensorship decisions of many lower courts. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Community
Authoring Institution: Freedom of Information Center, Columbia, MO.
Identifiers: Freedom of Information; Missouri