For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Note - The First Amendment in School Libraries: Using Substantial Truth to Protect a Substantial Right


The First Amendment right to freedom of speech is that of a two-sided coin, as the right to speech goes hand in hand with the right to receive speech. Where an author’s book is banned from a school library, the reader’s right to freedom of speech is censored with it, interfering with the ability of school libraries to serve as the “marketplace of ideas” in education. The Supreme Court’s plurality standard in Board of Education v. Pico generally prohibits content-based censorship in public schools. However, in distinguishing censorship of content from censorship of factual inaccuracy in ACLU v. Miami-Dade, the Eleventh Circuit opened a route for school boards to bypass the First Amendment when seeking to ban books with which they do not agree. This Note asserts that, to more properly implement the Pico standard as a safeguard for both the right to speech and the right to receive speech, the Court should implement the additional First Amendment doctrine of substantial truth, ensuring stronger protection against content-based censorship.