Intellectual Freedom Center
All students have the right to materials and educational experiences that promote open inquiry, critical thinking, diversity in thought and expression, and respect for others.
Banned Books Week
NCTE’s Support for the Students’ Right to Read
McCarthyism spurred NCTE to take a more active stance against censorship, and in 1953, NCTE’s Committee on Censorship of Teaching Materials published Censorship and Controversy, condemning McCarthy’s tactics and championing freedom of thought. In 1962 NCTE published its seminal intellectual freedom guideline The Students’ Right to Read, leading up to today’s active anticensorship program which works with 60–100 educators and school districts a year on challenges to texts used in classrooms.
Take part in Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2, 2021.
Banned Books Week has been shining a light on censorship since it was founded in 1982, and the fight for free expression is as urgent as ever.
NCTE is a cosponsor of this year’s celebration and invites its members to Find Our Freedom to Read.
As the attacks on the right to read escalate, a celebration of reading is needed now more than ever. The Banned Books Week Coalition (BBWC) is here to support the community of readers, including students, educators, librarians, and booksellers, in the United States and abroad. Please join us during Banned Books Week, September 26-October 2, 2021!
For decades, NCTE has worked with schools and educators on challenges to literary works, films and videos, drama productions, and other texts. Since 2004, NCTE has given advice, shared helpful documents, written letters of support, and/or testified in over 250 challenges to texts. Check the list of challenged books NCTE has handled since 2002. If you are facing a challenge, please consult the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Center to contact NCTE.
Grounded in NCTE’s position statements The Students’ Right to Read and NCTE Beliefs about the Students’ Right to Write, this book focuses on high school English language arts classes, drawing from the work of seven teachers from across the country to illustrate how advocating for students’ rights to read and write can be revolutionary work.
By showcasing their experiences and activities, and positioning NCTE policy statements—The Students’ Right to Read and NCTE Beliefs about the Students’ Right to Write—as foundational guiding documents, Ochoa and her colleagues prove that even in today’s standards-driven environment, authentic reading and writing practices can create literacy-rich middle school classrooms.
Promoting an equitable and inclusive understanding of literacy, Mariana Souto-Manning and her teacher contributors explore how elementary teachers can welcome the voices and languages of their students into their classrooms in their pursuit of reading and writing experiences that showcase children’s skills and practices.