Blog Archives

Turkish Publisher Closes Satirical Magazine Over Moses Cartoon

February 20, 2017
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Turkish Publisher Closes Satirical Magazine Over Moses Cartoon

The publisher of the Turkish satirical magazine Gırgır abruptly shut down the publication and laid off all its staff last week in response to a cartoon that irreverently depicted Moses and was deemed offensive to both Jews and Muslims. The magazine’s parent company Sozcu is staunchly secular and well-known for its opposition to President Recep…

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Parent Group Demands Changes or Cancellation for Illinois High School’s Civil Rights Seminar Day

February 17, 2017
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Parent Group Demands Changes or Cancellation for Illinois High School’s Civil Rights Seminar Day

Some parents in the northern suburbs of Chicago are complaining that an innovative all-day seminar on civil rights at New Trier High School will be “biased, unbalanced, [and] divisive.” Award-winning authors Andrew Aydin and Colson Whitehead are scheduled to speak at the seminar on February 28, but a parent pressure group wants the event cancelled…

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Free Speech Arguments Prevail in Tobinick v. Novella

February 16, 2017
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Free Speech Arguments Prevail in Tobinick v. Novella

Free speech prevailed in a case alleging that any speech published on a website with advertising should be treated as “commercial speech,” a category afforded less First Amendment protection. CBLDF and other members of the Media Coalition filed an amicus brief in the case, Tobinick v. Novella, when it was heard before the 11th Circuit Court…

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Oregon School Board Reconsiders Hasty Ban of Eleanor & Park

February 15, 2017
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Oregon School Board Reconsiders Hasty Ban of Eleanor & Park

After a hasty decision last month to pull Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park from an eighth grade classroom without following challenge procedures, the school board of Oregon’s Yamhill-Carlton School District has reconsidered and will allow the book to go through the review process as outlined in policy. Some parents concerned with mentions of sex and…

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CBLDF Joins Opposition to South Dakota Science Education Bill

February 14, 2017
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CBLDF Joins Opposition to South Dakota Science Education Bill

Late last week, CBLDF joined a coalition of free-speech advocates objecting to a bill in the South Dakota legislature that attempts to weaken science education standards in the state by allowing teachers to advance their own views on topics such as evolution and climate change. Proponents of the bill have adopted a specious free-speech argument,…

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CBLDF Joins Protest of Revived ‘Beloved Bill’ in Virginia

February 13, 2017
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CBLDF Joins Protest of Revived ‘Beloved Bill’ in Virginia

Virginia’s ‘Beloved bill’ has returned to the commonwealth’s General Assembly for the second year in a row, and CBLDF last week signed on to an opposition letter from the National Coalition Against Censorship. The legislation would require school districts to warn parents about educational materials containing undefined “sexually explicit” content, likely resulting in a chilling…

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California School District Removes Black History Month Art Exhibit After Parent Complaints

February 10, 2017
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California School District Removes Black History Month Art Exhibit After Parent Complaints

A school district in San Jose, California removed a Black History Month art exhibit from its administrative offices only a few hours after its installation last week, citing complaints from parents who were offended by artist Mark Harris’ mixed-media collages. Although the East Side Union High School District offices have for many years hosted annual…

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After Ban, Saudi Cartoonist Walks a Fine Line

February 9, 2017
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After Ban, Saudi Cartoonist Walks a Fine Line

In January 2016 the popular Saudi political cartoonist Abdullah Jaber seemingly disappeared from social media, fueling speculation among fans and colleagues as to what might have befallen him. He finally resurfaced 10 days later to quell rumors of arrest or worse, but also announced that the kingdom’s government had banned him from distributing cartoons for…

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CBLDF Joins Statement Opposing U.S. Immigration Ban

February 8, 2017
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CBLDF Joins Statement Opposing U.S. Immigration Ban

This week, CBLDF joined more than thirty cultural institutions and human rights organizations around the world in issuing a joint statement opposing United States President Donald J. Trump’s immigration ban on nationals of seven predominantly Muslim countries. The ban is currently suspended by a court order, but if reinstated it will have a broad and…

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Florida School District Pulls All-School Reading Book Due to “Body Parts”

February 7, 2017
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Florida School District Pulls All-School Reading Book Due to “Body Parts”

Some Florida high school students who were supposed to be celebrating literacy last month instead got an object lesson in censorship, as the Santa Rosa County school district cancelled an all-school read of Carl Deuker’s novel Gutless during the statewide Celebrate Literacy Week after some parents complained about passages they found inappropriate. According to Director…

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