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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
When you choose to fight censorship, remember that you are not alone.
Raising community awareness and enlisting support are key steps toward
removing book bans and guaranteeing intellectual freedom. The media
can serve as a powerful source of support. By filling out this form
letter and sending it to various newspapers, magazines and other media
outlets, you can spread the word and begin to form a united front
Copy this letter and paste it into your own document:
As you know, (Organization) has recently challenged the right of
the children of our community to read (Book/Author). In a way, this
is an honor—(Book) takes its place beside other books that
have been banned, titles including such classics as Little House
on the Prairie, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Hamlet,
and Of Mice and Men. Certainly, (Book) is in august company.
Censorship—the suppression of ideas or other information
that a portion of the population finds objectionable—is an
abrogation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States of America. It is this amendment that guarantees us the right
to free speech, and by extension, freedom to read. When censorship
is applied to what our children read, even for what appears to be
the noblest of motives, we teach the young a far more harmful lesson
than any work of literature ever could. We teach that the few can
disrupt the rights of all. We teach our children that they are not
capable of learning to think for themselves, to make considered
and thought-out decisions. We teach that conformity is worth more
than true learning.
This is a lesson we cannot support.
The American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association,
the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association
of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and
Authors, the National Coalition Against Censorship, The Center for
the Book, and The Library of Congress are just a few of the organizations
that agree with us. So does the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment
states simply and clearly: “Congress shall make no law . .
. abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
We are writing to invite your support for our children’s constitutional
right. Our children deserve the best we can offer—limitless ideas
and the freedom to read about them.
The following organizations can assist your defense against attempts at
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom
50 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
The American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression
139 Fulton Street, Suite 302
New York, NY 10038
American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004-2400
First Amendment Schools Association for Supervision and Curriculum
1703 N. Beauregard St.
Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
International Reading Association
800 Barksdale Rd.
PO Box 8139
Newark, DE 19714-8139
National Coalition Against Censorship
275 7th Ave
New York, NY 10001
National Council of Teachers of English
1111 Kenyon Road
Urbana, IL 61801-1096
People for the American Way
2000 M Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036
Fax: (202) 293-2672
Congress shall make
no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
Government for a redress of grievances.
here to print out a copy of the First Amendment (PDF format)
THE "CENSORSHIP CAUSES BLINDNESS" POSTER
Click here to download
an 8.5 x 11 printable PDF of the
"Censorship Causes Blindness" poster (pictured left).