Freedom or censorship? Ask the Board of Trustees to oppose proposed "Opt-In" library policy
"I know it when I see it."
That's often the answer when people are asked about what's or obscene or otherwise objectionable.
The problem, however, is that everyone sees things differently. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan said it best: "One man's vulgarity is another's lyric." It's impossible to define obscene in a way that isn't hopelessly vague and subjective.
And that's the trouble with a new policy the Laramie County School District 1's Board of Trustees is considering. The board is looking to define what books are considered "sexually explicit" in the district's school libraries to create a list of materials that parents or guardians would have to "opt-in" to let their children read or check out.
But who gets to decide what books are added to this list?
To be sure, no one is going to agree on the merits of every book. Some books will make you uncomfortable. Some books will make you angry. There might be books you think children shouldn't read. There might be books you hope no one will read. But freedom of expression for ourselves requires freedom of expression for others. It is at the very heart of our democracy.
If parents don't like a particular book, they can already provide that information to the school and prohibit their own kids from accessing those materials. This new "opt-in" policy is not necessary.
Will you send a message to the board asking them to object to this proposed policy and to choose freedom over censorship?
Laramie County School District 1 Board of Trustees