Censorship (1988)

Incidents of censorship involving groups or categories of books, as well as single titles, have increased because of community pressure. The merest hint that a book or group of books might be objectionable because of alleged racial, religious, or sexual content has caused removal of volumes from library shelves, both school and public, in communities around the country. While the major pressure for censorship emanates from right wing and fundamentalist groups, it should be noted that not all demands to remove books from educational curricula and libraries are made by such groups. Whatever the objections raised, key criteria in making decisions should be professional and scholarly assessment of the educational value and quality of the material in question.

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism opposes any attempts at censorship in schools or libraries and urges its affiliates to:

  1. Engage in educational efforts about the dangers and destructive nature of censorship, even before such incidents occur.
  2. Encourage school and library boards to develop and implement appropriate policies that enable them to counter censorship attempts.
  3. Encourage state and local boards of education, where appropriate, to apply similar standards of educational quality in adopting school textbooks, and to reject texts edited to meet censorship demands.
  4. Work in coalition with other responsible groups to oppose censorship in schools and libraries.
  5. Encourage parents and civic groups to support pluralistic-minded decisions by educators and textbook publishers to resist censorship.