Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Humberto Fontova, the Media's "Book Banning" Claims, and the ALA's Opposition to the "Right to Apply Accuracy" in Public Schools

Humberto Fontova becomes another person exposing false claims of "book banning" and "censorship." (Thomas Sowell and "National Hogwash Week" comes to mind.)

Most of America, for instance, applauds "parental involvement" in their children's education. But a recent New York Times editorial decries it. "Banning Books in Miami," blares their editorial headline from February 10th. "The Miami-Dade School Board's decision is not only unconstitutional, it is counterproductive. If the (local school) board wants to oppose the totalitarianism of the Castro regime, banning books is an odd way to go about it."


Last week a federal appeals panel in Atlanta ruled that the Miami-Dade School Board has 'the right to apply accuracy as a criteria for educational purposes.' The appeals court noted that the book indeed 'contained factual errors that distorts what life is like in that dictatorship.'

Source: "The New York Times and 'Book Banning,'" by Humberto Fontova, Human Events, 16 February 2009, emphasis added.

Please read "The New York Times and 'Book Banning.'" I'm especially intrigued by the "right to apply accuracy" in public schools and why it appears perceived violations of this obvious right are labeled "banning" and "censorship" by the media, the ACLU, and the American Library Association [ALA].

The ALA? Mr. Fontova did not discuss this in his article, but the ALA agrees wholeheartedly with the ACLU:

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, told American Libraries, “Naturally we are disappointed with this decision. The book ban is unconstitutional, and we will continue to support the ACLU’s efforts to return the books to the shelves of the Miami-Dade school libraries.” ALA’s Freedom to Read Foundation had filed an amicus curiae brief (PDF file) for the plaintiffs in ACLU of Florida v. Miami-Dade School Board, along with Reforma and other groups.

Source: "Appeals Court: Miami-Dade Book Ban Isn't Censorship," by ALA, American Libraries, 11 February 2009.
Apparently, the ALA opposes the "right to apply accuracy" in public schools and local control of public libraries, in this case "parental involvement" in public school libraries. More fuel for "National Hogwash Week." More reasons the ALA should no longer be considered authoritative by community members supporting local libraries; the ALA actively works against their interests, even in the face of relevant legal decisions.


Note that the right to apply accuracy is so important that a national park refused to sell a book that was factually inaccurate:


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