Book Banning is Un-American

Book banning flies in the face of one of the bedrock principles of the Bill of Rights — Freedom of Expression — and it is not tolerated in America; except maybe in the chambers of the Miami-Dade School Board.

In 2006 the ACLU of Florida began to warn the school district that if they banned the children’s book ¡Vamos a Cuba! and its English equivalent, A Visit to Cuba, a lawsuit would follow. The book is part of a series that shows children ages 5-7 basic facts about other countries, such as the foods they eat, the clothes they wear, and the things they do.

In a politically charged vote, the board voted to ban the book against the advice of the district’s superintendent, the school board’s own attorney, as well as two separate committees comprised of educators, parents and librarians. The school board banned the book saying that it doesn’t accurately portray the Castro regime. (Later, the district would yank every book in the 24-book series off the shelves, further making school children the losers in this battle.)

This could quite possibly be the first time that a book was banned not for what it did say, rather for what it doesn’t say. And the irony is that banning a book because of its content is exactly the type of action one would expect from a Castro regime — not something that would happen here.

In June 2006, the ACLU of Florida filed suit against the school district, demanding that the books be returned to the shelves. Librarians and experts testified that the book is age appropriate and that it should in fact remain on the shelves. The Florida Library Association even filed an amicus brief in the case. The ACLU prevailed in the federal district court and the school district quickly appealed – throwing more taxpayers’ money at the problem they themselves had created.

On Thursday, the 11th Circuit reversed the district court’s decision, a decision the ACLU says was short-sighted.

If school administrators are given license to ban books they don’t like from the public libraries, then we are one step closer to the death of the marketplace of ideas and our libraries will be filled not with books but with empty shelves. The American way, the constitutional way, would be to buy more books with different viewpoints and add them — not scrub the shelves of every book that doesn’t fit a particular person’s political views. Censorship is censorship, period.

The ACLU of Florida and cooperating counsel are looking at the decision and will be moving forward to protect free speech in this, our free country. Stay tuned!

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liberal hater

The American Criminal Liberties Union lies with impunity. They do support the censor of books from schools- THE BIBLE. Try bringing one to school and these bunch of ambulance chasers will do what they always do which is hunt down a liberal, activist judge to do their bidding.

By the way good job to the 11th circuit. That is to cases out of the 11th circuit the ACLU has lost recently. The other being the rights of a police officer to taser unruly criminals. Guess which side the ACLU took-- the police officer or the criminal. Yep, the criminal.

timot28

No wonder there is no comment. I've tried for an hour to figure a way to get into my account to renew my membership and make a donation to you in your current Maddoff plight (took half an hour to find a link to it. Didn't see any link to actually contact your organization about my problem making a donation. When I tried the donation link, it took me right up to confirming my visa transfer without any indication that you knew who the hell was making that donation. Whoever designed your site is doing as much damage to your organization as Mr. Maddoff has.

Maybe I'm on a pfishing trip; probably not. Perhaps someone will read this comment and respond; I doubt it.

MAXIMILLIAN F.O...

A.C.L.U.;
THIS EMAIL IS TO BRING ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT 'TEXAS' HAS A SIMILAR
'BOOK-BAN' ATTEMPT IN PROGRESS IN THE CITY OF CLEBURNE HIGH SCHOOL-REGARDING
KEN FOLLETT'S 'PILLARS OF THE EARTH'.
THE 'UPSTANDING CITIZENS' OF THAT COMMUNITY UPHOLD THAT THE CONTENT OF THE SAID BOOK IS 'TOO GRAPHIC AND ILLI-
CIT' FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN THEIR FAIR CITY. THIS MAY BE A CASE WORTH LOOKING INTO. SO-CALLED 'CHILDREN'
THIS DAY AND TIME SPEW MUCH MORE 'X-RATED' LANGUAGE AT THEIR PARENTS AND IN 'TEXT-MESSAGING' THAN WHAT THESE FAIR
CITIZENS ARE PROTESTING IN SUCH A FINE
WORK OF 'LITERATURE'...
INSTEAD OF WASTING TIME 'BANNING'-
THESE PARENTS MIGHT TRY THEIR HAND AT
MORE 'RESPONSIBLE-PARENTING'. THAT WOULD BE A MUCH MORE 'WORTHWHILE' INVESTMENT OF THEIR TIME...

Brad

If Book Banning is against your ethics then why is The Bible (The Book that you will be judged by) Banned from anywhere you can.

Suzanne Ito, ACLU

Timot28: We apologize for any trouble the site was causing when you attempted to donate. To renew your membership, please go to www.aclu.org/renew. You can also find our main donation page at www.aclu.org/join. If you encounter any more problems, please contact us at membership@aclu.org. Thanks for your support!

Anonymous

Brad - Why do you think the ACLU is banning the Bible? Have you seen anything that would have it removed from libraries, churches, or your home?

My take is that the ACLU is attempting to enforce our Constitution by not allowing our government to use it as a basis for creating laws or as a public school textbook.

GUN BANNING is ...

Stop being total hypocrites and start protecting the ENTIRE Bill Of Rights!

Brandon

@ GUN BANNING is also UN-AMERICAN!...

I agree the INDIVIDUAL's right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment, and as I'm sure you well know, the USSC recently ruled precisely to that affect. Regardless, we have the NRA to fight for Amendment 2 issues. Let us not forget that that is their sole mission -- guns, guns, guns! Personally, I'm glad we have the ACLU to fight for the rest of the Constitution. The NRA is a well-funded organization of singular purpose, and it would just be foolish for the ACLU to devote its already overstretched resources to Second Amendment concerns.

Brandon G. Little
Executive Director
Know My Rights
http://www.knowmyrights.org

hogcaller6217722

The ACLU has been actively trying to suppress free speech, violating peoples constitution rights in the process. The ACLU sends threatening letters, and tries to have people fired from their jobs, and students failed or diciplined at school for mentioning God. The funny thing is that theism can be seen to be true by pure logic, an that athism is not consistent with logic. These actions by the ACLU makes them appear to be what...a complete joke? bold faced liars? or ignorant to the point of mental illness?

Suspek

The ACLU does not endorse banning the "Bible" from the entire country; they have clearly shown it SHOULD be banned from any publicly-funded institutions. Why? Separation of church and state. By the way, , take heed: I've met several Cuban immigrants here in Florida who are ultra-christians. How is it that they reap all the advantages of our society (fast-track citizenship, right-to-vote , micro-loans disguised through their churches for pure profit) and yet not know the language or even know who George Washington was?

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