ACLU of Florida Disappointed by Miami-Dade School Board's Vote to Ban Book on Cuba

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
June 14, 2006 12:00 am

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Fight for Freedom in Cuba Cannot Be Waged as War on First Amendment in Miami, Says ACLU

MIAMI — The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida today expressed disappointment over the Miami-Dade School Board’s decision to censor the book, “Vamos a Cuba,” from public schools.

Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida and Virginia Rosen, President of the ACLU of Florida, Greater Miami Chapter, issued the following joint statement today:

Lawyers and staff of the American Civil Liberties Union are now preparing a legal challenge to today’s regrettable decision of the Miami-Dade School Board.

Parents, educators, librarians and others with standing in this matter who are equally concerned about the school board’s disturbing decision should contact the ACLU to discuss becoming a part of this challenge so that book censorship does not become the official policy of the Miami-Dade Schools.

It is unfortunate that the school board ignored the professional advice of both the superintendent and the overwhelming finding of two committees of educators, parents and librarians.

Today’s precedent – if allowed to stand – opens the door to yank virtually any book off the shelf of a school library at the whim of a single parent and a school board judgment that there is some inaccuracy or omission in a book.

The answer to controversial or unpopular speech – as the U.S. Supreme Court has said over and over again – is to add more information with different viewpoints, not enforce censorship. That is a cure worse than the disease.

The fight for freedom in Cuba cannot be waged as a war on the First Amendment in Miami.

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