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ERIC Number: ED234475
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
ASCD Statement on Censorship.
Educational Leadership, v40 n4 p54 Jan 1983
THE FOLLOWING IS THE FULL TEXT OF THIS DOCUMENT: Conflicts over schools in general and curriculum and materials in particular have increased in recent years. A contributing factor is that organized groups, determined to reform society by imposing their values on others, insist that textbooks and other educational materials reflect their views. Whether educators agree or disagree with concerns expressed by critics, they must act responsibly. When challenges arise, school officials should bear in mind that education is governed by the public because it fulfills an important public purpose. They should recognize the value of citizen participation and respect the right of parents to shape their children's schooling. At the same time, educators should insist that, as in other fields, professional judgment must not be completely subservient to the popular will. Educators' primary allegiance must be to the integrity of knowledge and the welfare of students. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development affirms that: Parents and other citizens have the right and the responsibility to express their views about the merits and appropriateness of public school curriculum and materials. School systems should have well-defined procedures by which concerns can be communicated to school officials and responded to promptly, thoughtfully, and courteously. Adoption of such procedures is based on the presumption that some complaints may be valid; that decisions about choice or use of materials are properly subject to reconsideration. The best hope for a sound decision when materials are questioned is through use of a predetermined process that ensures thorough consideration of the issues by an objective group. Actions by individuals--whether citizens or educators--that circumvent such deliberations are a threat to individual liberty and democratic process. Materials should always be evaluated in reference to educational criteria formulated in advance of any particular controversy. As stated by the United States Supreme Court in Pico vs. Island Trees, materials must never be removed or restricted for the purpose of suppressing ideas. --Approved by ASCD Executive Council, October 1982. (Author)
Descriptors: Censorship, Community Role, Due Process, Elementary Secondary Education, Guidelines, Instructional Materials, Media Selection, Position Papers, Textbook Selection
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 225 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, VA.