The following letter was sent to the Brevard County School Board.
Position of the Space Coast Progressive Alliance on Ms. A. Kneessy's Proposed Simplification of Brevard Schools Book/Syllabus Objection Procedures.
After reviewing the proposed changes to the Brevard County Schools Board's procedures regarding formal complaints and objections to controversial books and teaching materials, we are deeply concerned.
We are concerned – as every citizen should be -- about efforts to censor what is available in school libraries and classrooms. Recalling the experiences of many communities in censoring instructional and library materials should make us all uneasy about this proposed change.
Freedom of thought is one of our most cherished liberties. Efforts to protect children from controversial ideas must be considered with restraint and great care. We must maintain a balance that protects young people while also protecting our First Amendment rights. We strongly support the established policy of the American Civil Liberties Union in this regard.
We, as a community, rely on the good judgment of school librarians and teachers to provide age appropriate literature and classroom materials for our students. The established protocols and guidelines currently in use provide a multi-step, deliberative process that protects the First Amendment while allowing parent and community oversight. Ms. Kneessy's proposal damages that process by removing important checks and balances that have wisely been built into the current policy.
The Space Coast Progressive Alliance strongly objects to Ms. Kneessy's proposal.