Trigger warnings, initially designed to give advance notice of content potentially detrimental to those who have suffered trauma, have made their way into everyday situations and become code for ‘stuff that may be offensive or upsetting.’
The decision to pull all of the yearbooks smacks of viewpoint discrimination. Justice William Brennan in his dissent on Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier warned that the decision to protect students from controversial or sensitive topics is actually “camouflage” for viewpoint discrimination: “Even in its capacity as educator the State may not assume an Orwellian ‘guardianship of the public mind.”
The latest controversy over Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, brought on by proposed legislation from Arkansas State Rep. Kim Hendren, is at an end. The bill died in committee, so Zinn — and everything by or about him — is still allowed (by state law anyway) in Arkansas public school curricula.
Institutions of higher education are seeing an increasing number of challenges to the principles of academic freedom that have seemingly been embedded in higher education since the establishment of American universities … This notion, however, that academic freedom has always existed in academic institutions in the United States is inaccurate.
On the EPA’s website of the Office of Science and Technology, the word ‘science’ has been removed from its mission statement. At the University Of California San Diego, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Michigan, scientists are voicing their concerns about their ability to do their jobs threatened with draconian budget cuts at the Federal level, and the specter of vanishing data sets in Federal repositories. Neither has become a reality, but awareness and action are needed on both fronts.
Government officials charged with overseeing public education may frame these attempts at censorship in terms of their pedagogical responsibilities, so it is important to see how these attempts differ from the appropriate use of responsible selection by professional educators and librarians.
In my academic bubble, it’s easy to be shocked by recent attacks on academic freedom. How can I engage with opinions outside the academy?
In these politically charged times, librarians and educators on every point of the political spectrum are mobilizing to create and share resources to support the civil discourse essential to maintaining intellectual freedom in our schools and community.
Colleges increasingly withdraw invitations to controversial speakers, raising questions of free speech, public safety and the role of education.
Is Facebook’s offer of free internet access a boon to schools or a ploy to control curriculum?