Following are some of the major organizations involved in censorship issues. Also see the Ed-Web column.
American Civil Liberties Union,
125 Broad St., New York, NY 10004. (212) 549-2500. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Internet: http:// www.aclu.org.Probably the most vigilant group in the country when it comes to protecting legal rights to freedom of expression. Also provides information on a wide range of student rights. Be sure to check out its “Ask Sybil” series of popularly written handouts on student rights and its 181-page book, “The Rights of Students.”
The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom,
50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. (800) 545-2433. Internet: http:// www.ala.org.Provides a range of support and materials, including copies of reviews of controversial books and background on where the book has been challenged before. State and local library associations are also a good resource. Along with the American Association of School Administrators, the ALA published the 171-page book “Censorship and Selection: Issues and Answers for Schools.” One of the few books to deal with the specifics of censorship in schools, this is an invaluable resource. You can also get the book from the AASA, 1901 N. Moore St., Arlington, VA 22209. (703) 528-0700.
National Coalition Against Censorship,
275 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10001. (212) 807-6222. E-mail: email@example.com. Internet: http:// www.ncac.org.A coalition of almost 50 groups ranging from the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association to the Newspaper Guild, American Jewish Congress, International Reading Association, and the Writers Guild of America. Publishes a newsletter that keeps current with new cases of censorship.
National Council of Teachers of English,
1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801. (800) 369-6283; (217) 328-3870. Internet: http:// www.ncte.org.Has a standing committee dealing with censorship in schools and provides a variety of materials. Because it is a teacher-based organization, the NCTE is particularly sensitive to how censorship issues play out in schools.
People for the American Way,
2000 M St., NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 467-4999. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.. Internet: http:// www.pfaw.org. PFAW has a particularly good feel for the politics of censorship and how censorship is used by the religious right as part of a broader attack on public education. Also covers issues such as vouchers, creationism, sexuality education, and “parental rights” initiatives.