18
February
2016
|
08:43 PM
America/New_York

Kids Right to Read

As a major supporter of the Kids Right to Read Project, AAP is actively engaged in fighting attempts to restrict access to books or remove them from libraries.
Judith Platt

by Judith Platt, Director of Free Expression Advocacy

The free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment are a cornerstone of the work of the Association of American Publishers. We endorse the principles of intellectual freedom, recognizing that reader privacy is an absolute pre-requisite for that freedom. One aspect of reader privacy of key concern for us is the right for students to read.

While it may be appropriate for parents to supervise and guide their own young children in the choice of reading material, older minors must be free to explore a wide variety of books and library materials on their own. To encourage and permit parents to “police” the library choices of young adults not only deprives them of their First Amendment right to receive information but can, in fact, place the most vulnerable of them at risk, discouraging those who need it from seeking information on topics such as gender identity or domestic abuse. Such parental “policing” could also have a chilling effect on the willingness of media specialists to purchase library materials that put forth controversial or unpopular views.

As a major supporter of the Kids Right to Read Project, AAP is actively engaged in fighting attempts to restrict access to books or remove them from libraries. On February 16 we joined with other first amendment advocates, including National Coalition Against Censorship, Comic Book Defense League, American Booksellers for Free Expression, National Council of Teachers of English, and PEN American Center to protest the removal of This One Summer from the open shelves at three Seminole County high school libraries.

The letter strongly urges Seminole County Public Schools to restore full access to This One Summer in high school libraries throughout Seminole County. Click here to see it.