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Opposing Censorship

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Inspired by two librarian bloggers (here and here) that recently tackled the complex discussion of defining and avoiding censorship in their libraries, Doug Johnson of Blue Skunk reflects on his own experience as a school librarian fighting censorship, the ALA and AASL’s policies, and the courage it takes to stand up to proponents of censorship.

It takes a deceptively large amount of courage to fight censorship, to defend a wide variety of viewpoints - especially in a politically charged climate … this [is] certainly not an issue the library alone owns. How will you respond when a parent asks you to block Planned Parenthood, PETA or The Flying Spaghetti Monster websites?

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I am tired of this censorship being placed on teachers and anyone responsible for educating children. When i teach about several topics, I always send a letter home describing what I am dioing in ny classroom. I had several parents who deny their child the right to see anything that has violence. Then you ask them what they watch at home and you would be amazed what is going on in the home.
After conferencing with the parent, they soon understand that the material is essential in presenting that time period in history.

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