Intellectual Freedom Center
All students have the right to materials and educational experiences that promote open inquiry, critical thinking, diversity in thought and expression, and respect for others.
Banned Books Week
NCTE’s Support for the Students’ Right to Read
McCarthyism spurred NCTE to take a more active stance against censorship and in 1953, NCTE’s Committee on Censorship of Teaching Materials published Censorship and Controversy, condemning McCarthy’s tactics and championing freedom of thought. In 1962 NCTE published its seminal intellectual freedom guideline: The Students’ Right to Read leading up to today’s active Anti-Censorship program which works with 60-100 educators and school districts a year on challenges to texts used in classrooms.
Banning Books Silences Stories
Take part in Banned Books Week, September 23-29, 2018.
This year’s celebration of the freedom to read reminds us that banning books silences stories.
Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition (BBWC) committee, says, “Banned Books Week gives everyone a chance to celebrate their story. The courageous students, teachers, librarians, and authors who stand up for challenged ideas remind us that intellectual freedom is our birthright. By creating an event for your community, posting online about the freedom to read, or even just reading a banned book, each person has an opportunity to further that right.”
NCTE is a co-sponsor of this year’s celebration and invites its members to: Protect the Students’ Right to Read.
As the attacks on the right to read escalate, a celebration of reading is needed now more than ever. BBWC is here to support the community of readers, including students, educators, libraries, and booksellers, in the United States and abroad. Please join us during Banned Books Week, September 23 – 29, 2018!
For decades, NCTE has worked with schools and educators on challenges to literary works, films and videos, drama productions, and other texts. Since 2004, NCTE has given advice, shared helpful documents, written letters of support, and/or testified in over 250 challenges to texts. Check the list of challenged books NCTE has handled over the last nine years. If you are facing a challenge, please consult the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Center to contact NCTE.