NCTE Announces Honorable Mention SAGA for the

2017 National Intellectual Freedom Award

 

URBANA, ILLINOIS, 10-16-17 – SAGA 6, a group of six students from Mount Horeb High School, Wisconsin, and their school and community advisors, have been awarded one of two Honorable Mentions for the NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award. SAGA 6 stood up to the threat of legal action regarding the reading of I Am Jazz at their high school.

The award selection committee notes:

It is one thing to speak out against censorship, and another to face it head on and fight, especially for high school students. Having their reading of I Am Jazz cancelled by the school because of a legal threat, the SAGA 6 and their advisors were determined to support a community member who had recently transitioned. They worked together to locate other venues in which to hold this reading and took their event to the public library, where they presented to more than 600 people. But the students wanted to reach more people, so the members of SAGA 6 (all high school students) led a reading of this text at their own school, gathering an audience of more than 200. What these students, teachers, and community members did was not only brave and honorable; it sets a precedent for others to follow in supporting and encouraging conversations surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) culture and issues—something that still is often considered taboo and met with resistance in our schools today.

SAGA 6 will be announced as one of two recipients of an NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award Honorable Mention during an awards session on Saturday, November 18, at the 2017 NCTE Annual Convention in St. Louis.

Christina Berchini of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, also received on Honorable Mention, and Joan Bertin, former executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, is the winner of this year’s award.

Contact: Millie Davis, 217-278-3634, mdavis@ncte.org.

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The National Council of Teachers of English (http://www.ncte.org), with 25,000 individual and institutional members worldwide, is the nation’s oldest literacy organization. With the expertise of its members, NCTE has led the nation in its most important decisions and trajectories around preK–16+ literacy/writing/literature thinking. NCTE is dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.