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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Confronting Efforts to Censor Instructional Materials

1974 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana


Threats and violence have been used recently to influence decisions involving school texts and teaching practices. Educators and school board members are being abused and harassed, and are therefore intimidated in exercising their professional judgment in the best interests of their pupils because such attacks are based on emotion rather than reason. They divide communities, isolate schools from their communities, limit the student's access to a wide variety of reading materials, and create an atmosphere of fear and distrust in which learning is hampered. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English vigorously reassert to appropriate groups its position that decisions involving materials and methodology must be made with full concern for the principles of sound teaching and learning, and for the total positive impact on learners;

     that NCTE reassert its position on the student's right to read; and

     that NCTE inform its members of the dangers involved in instructional material-centered attacks and of appropriate actions they may take as situations warrant.

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