CBLDF and Kids’ Right to Read Project Stand Up for Manga

Assasination Classroom manga cover with signature pageCBLDF reported last week that popular manga, Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui was pulled from a school library on Staten Island, without adhering to the New York City Department of Education guidelines. The comic is currently pending review by an evaluation committee, but in the meantime, it remains unavailable to readers who may find insight and enjoyment in its pages.

Today, CBLDF and Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP), implored administrators to adhere to the principles of intellectual freedom outlined in the NYC DOE School Librarian Guidebook: Challenged Materials. The Guidebook recommends: “Prepare yourself and your school to deal with intellectual freedom issues before a challenge occurs. Promote the idea of intellectual freedom as given in ALA’s Library Bill of Rights:”

The Library Bill of Rights offers basic principles all libraries should strive to abide by, for example:

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

Today, National Coalition Against Censorship, KRRP member, posted eloquently about the situation.

Every public school should serve as a place where students of diverse perspectives and capacities can engage with new ideas. We recognize that parents are entitled to direct their child’s education. But no parent has the right to decide what others may read.

While not everyone will understand or agree with manga styles of expression, schools should create opportunities for educators to share the educational benefits of reading it so that each parent can make an informed decision for their child.

The KRRP letter, addressed to District 31’s Superintendent Vincenza Gallassio, explains the belief “that the parental objection to Assassination Classroom takes the book’s title and themes out of context and disregards the book’s value as a whole.”

The letter also urges Superintendent Gallassio “to honor your constitutional and educational obligations to your students by returning Assassination Classroom to library shelves and to follow district procedures for the review of controversial materials.”

See the full text of the letter below.

Letter to NYC DOE District … by on Scribd

Check out the Reward Zone to get your own signed copy of Assassination Classroom and help support CBLDF in the fight for students’ right to read freely!