Improved Communication Can Block Censorship, Groups Say
"If there is a lesson to be learned from the past two decades of controversy over education," writes the author of a new report on school censorship, "it is that more and better communication is needed."
Issued last week by the American Association of School Administrators and the American Library Association, the report, entitled Censorship and Selection, reviews the history of censorship controversies involving schools and offers detailed recommendations for school leaders on how to establish policies and procedures that can work to head off divisive confrontations over educational materials.
"Legitimate constraints on intellectual freedom in education are not always easily distinguished from those that are improper," cautions the report, written by Henry Reichman, associate editor of the ala's Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom.
But it argues that careful and articulated procedures provide the best means of helping all concerned parties--professionals, parents, and community members--to discern what it calls the necessary distinction between "censorship and selection."
Copies of Censorship and Selection: Issues and Answers for Schools may be obtained for $12.95 each, plus $3.50 for postage and handling, from either aasa Publications, 1801 North Moore St., Arlington, Va. 22209, or the ala, 50 East Huron St., Chicago, Ill. 60611.--mm