Censorship Toolkit: Page 5
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The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC)
Founded in 1974, NCAC is an alliance of 51 national non-profit organizations, including literary, artistic, religious, educational, professional, labor, and civil liberties groups, united in their support of freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression. NCAC works with teachers, educators, writers, artists, and others around the country dealing with censorship debates in their own communities; it educates its members and the public at large about the dangers of censorship and how to oppose them; and it advances policies that promote and protect freedom of expression and democratic values.
The National Council of Teachers of English and the International Literacy Association (NCTE/ ILA)
The NCTE “supports intellectual freedom at all educational levels.” A 80,000-member organization devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts, the NCTE offers support, advice, and resources to teachers and schools faced with challenges to teaching materials or methods. The NCTE has developed a Statement on Censorship and Professional Guidelines in recognition that English and language arts teachers face daily decisions about teaching materials and methods.
For over 60 years the ILA has provided teachers and leaders with the resources and expertise to support and inspire their students and each other. The ILA has set the standards and agendas for literacy instruction and evaluation, and advocated for the cause of literacy before leaders throughout a global community that spreads this transformative power across 128 countries.
The National Education Association (NEA)
The NEA is America’s oldest and largest organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Its 2.5 million members work at every level of education. Elected representatives from across the country are responsible for setting policy, which includes resolutions on selecting and developing education materials and teaching techniques. The resolutions embody NEA’s belief that democratic values are best transmitted in an atmosphere free of censorship and deplore “pre-publishing censorship, book burning crusades, and attempts to ban books from the…curriculum.” Taking a proactive position, the NEA encourages its members to be involved in developing textbooks and materials and to seek the removal of laws and regulations that restrict selection of diverse materials.
The American Library Association (ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom
“Established December 1, 1967, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.”
The American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE)
The American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) is the bookseller’s voice in the fight for free speech. Its mission is to promote and protect the free exchange of ideas, particularly those contained in books, by opposing restrictions on the freedom of speech; issuing statements on significant free expression controversies; participating in legal cases involving First Amendment rights; collaborating with other groups with an interest in free speech; and providing education about the importance of free expression to booksellers, other members of the book industry, politicians, the press and the public.