Censorship, Legislation & Information Literacy in Schools: Then & Now

Literacy in the 21st Century

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Censorship, Legislation & Information Literacy in Schools: Then & Now by Mind Map: Censorship, Legislation & Information Literacy in Schools: Then & Now

1. iGen students favor restricting speech covered/protected by the 1st Amendment over 'being made to feel bad' by a differing opinion (Twenge, 2018, p. 252).

1.1. Students want 'safe spaces' for speech they feel is 'unwelcome': race, religion, gender.

2. What's the future of Information Literacy & First Amendment Speech on College Campuses?

3. Who's censoring online content on Social Media platforms? Are they responsible for minors access to pornography?

3.1. Content Moderators - people contracted by major platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google paid to rid the Internet of toxic material. Their identities are kept secret.

3.1.1. By what guidelines do they decide what content is deleted or ignored?

3.2. Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck

3.2.1. New documentary, "The Cleaners", brings to light the mystery behind how Social Media giants are trying to 'clean up the dirt'. This is more than about censorship, this is also about the mental health of these 'cleaners'. Now Whose Responsibility?

4. What does Freedom of Speech mean to Digital Natives the next generation also known as iGen?

4.1. Jean Twenge, PhD, professor of psychology and author of iGen uncovers a disturbing trend happening on college campuses across the nation.

4.1.1. Universities are unwilling to favor the 1st Amendment over the possibility of a federal lawsuit (Twenge, 2018, p. 252). Number of speakers 'disinvited' from speaking on college campuses has reached an all time high (Twenge, 2018, p. 252-53). IF the consequence of saying the wrong thing can be dire, then what does the future look like when it comes to censoring what College professors can say in class? What forms of Information will be acceptable? Doesn't the First Amendment protect educators' ability to help young people acquire knowledge? Now Whose Right?

4.1.2. Jean Twenge's TEDx presentation on iGen.

4.2. iGen, the generation born 1995 & later.

5. What's next in legislation when it comes to protecting minors from toxic content on the Internet & Social Media?


6.1. Tinker v. Des Moines Independent CSD (1969)

6.1.1. Des Moines Independent Community School District

6.1.2. Ruling Rendered (1969 ): The courts rules in favor of students. School officials can not censor student speech unless it disrupts the educational process, this includes symbolic speech. The right to wear armbands is covered by the First Amendment. Political movement or case for intellectual freedom? Standards were set for safeguarding public school students' free speech rights & symbolic speech (Freedom Forum Institute).

6.1.3. Iowa Civil Liberties Union, Tinker Family & ACLU 5 students wore black armbands to school in protest of the Vietnam War.

6.2. Board of Education Island Trees v. Pico (1982)

6.2.1. Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 Board removed 11 books saying they were: "anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and 'just plain filthy' (Richardson, 2014).

6.2.2. Ruling Rendered (1982): The Supreme Court rules in favor of students. The right to read is covered by the First Amendment.

6.2.3. Steven Pico Four Olathe school students (Stevie Case, et al), their parents, and a teacher from the Olathe schools and the ACLU.

6.2.4. Used as the basis for future court cases like Stevana Case.

6.3. Stevana Case et al. v. U.S.D. no. 233 (1995)

6.3.1. 1. ACLU representing Steven Case (teacher) and students contends that by removing Annie on My Mind* from school libraries, the Olathe School District is violating the First Amendment rights of teachers, students and parents in the district. 2. Students seek second injunction regarding censorship of fliers in violation of their rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of Kansas, Bill of Rights Fourteenth Amendment.

6.3.2. Ruling Rendered (1998): Court rules in favor of students. District must return the copies of the book to the school libraries. Political movement or case for intellectual freedom? The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation/Kansas City and Project 21 - donating books to school libraries spurred a decision by the Superintendent which eventually provoked a law suit.

6.3.3. Olathe school district Board of Education & Superintendent School officials may not exercise their discretion to remove books from a school library based on “narrowly partisan or political” grounds, because doing so would amount to an “official suppression of ideas" (Desai).


7.1. Ashcroft v. ACLU (2004)

7.1.1. John Ashcroft, Attorney General & Congress Child Online Protective Act (COPA) (1998): Protect and prevent minors from sexually explicit materials online (Kennedy, 2004).

7.1.2. Ruling Rendered (2004): COPA violates the First Amendment & the Free Speech Clause. Blocking and filtering software is a less restrictive alternative (than COPA) and likely a more effective means for parents to restrict their child(ren) from accessing harmful materials (Kennedy, 2004). Parents are responsible to use filtering software that protects their child(ren) from accessing pornography online - yet pornography still finds its way in. Kids spend more leisure time on their phones than on a desktop computer or device.

7.1.3. ACLU on behalf of Online Publishers

7.2. Congress enacts the 1st 'harmful-to-minors' law (1973): to protect minors, (those 17 and younger), from pornography, obscenity, and other material that may bring harm to them.

7.2.1. COPA prevents online publishers from publishing material that adults have a right to access.

7.2.2. The Internet is an open playground for Free Speech And harmful-to-minors laws 'have fared far less successful in cyberspace' (Jr, D. L. H.).

7.3. ALA v. CIPA (2003)

7.3.1. Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), 2000 CIPA, the 3rd attempt by Congress to protect minors from pornography, finally passes.

7.3.2. Ruling Rendered (2003): The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) DOES NOT violate the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech clause.

7.3.3. American Library Association (ALA) CIPA requires public schools & libraries who receive federal funding to install Internet-filtering software to prevent offensive content from being accessed online by minors (Admin, 2017). To be compliant schools & libraries must keep up to date with their filtering software. And while this may add a 'layer' of protection, it doesn't keep minors/students completely 'safe'.

8. The First Amendment protects educators’ ability to exercise their judgment in accordance with professional standards and provides the latitude to create learning environments that effectively help young people acquire the knowledge and skills needed to become productive, self-sufficient, and contributing members of society (National Coalition Against Censorship, 2019).


9.1. Admin. (2017, May 24). Libraries and the Internet Toolkit. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/iftoolkits/litoolkit/legalissues_CIPA_filtering.

9.2. Desai, A. C. (n.d.). Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District v. Pico. Retrieved from https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/103/board-of-education-island-trees-union-free-school-district-v-pico.

9.3. The First Amendment in Schools: A Resource Guide. (2019, March 20). Retrieved from https://ncac.org/resource/first-amendment-in-schools.

9.4. Jr, D. L. H. (n.d.). Harmful to Minors Laws. Retrieved November 7, 2019, from https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/966/harmful-to-minors-laws.

9.5. Kennedy. (2004, June 29). ASHCROFT V. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-218.ZO.html.

9.6. McLeod, S. (2019, June 16). United States v. American Library Association. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/United-States-v-American-Library-Association.

9.7. Richardson, E. (2014, September 23). Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico. Retrieved November 2, 2019, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Board-of-Education-Island-Trees-Union-Free-School-District-No-26-v-Pico.

9.8. Twenge, J. M. (2018). IGen: why todays super-connected kids are growing up less rebellious, more tolerant, less happy -- and completely unprepared for adulthood*: *and what that means for the rest of us. New York: Atria International.

9.9. Tinker v. Des Moines - Landmark Supreme Court Ruling on Behalf of Student Expression. (2012, November 15). Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/other/tinker-v-des-moines-landmark-supreme-court-ruling-behalf-student-expression.

9.10. What rights to freedom of expression do students have? (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.freedomforuminstitute.org/about/faq/what-rights-to-freedom-of-expression-do-students-have/.