Skip to content

Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 et al. v. Pico

  • by

Court/Judicial body: United States Supreme Court

Case Summary:

The court concluded: “local school boards may not remove books from libraries simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek their removal to ‘prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.'” The court’s reasoning focused on the motive for restricting the right to access to information. It was held that although school boards may remove books from libraries for proper purposes (e.g. moving from a larger library to a smaller library might necessitate removing some books), they are not end to remove books because they disagree with the ideas in those books or because the board aims to promote a particular political orthodoxy. Because the record was inconclusive as to the Board’s motivations for removing the books, the Court determined more fact-finding was necessary on this issue. Impact: The Board voted to re-introduce the banned books into the junior high and high school libraries on the condition that students checking out these books had to take home a parental warning slip. However, the New York Attorney General decided that this parental notification violated a law protecting library record confidentiality, and the Board subsequently voted again to return the books to the libraries.

Link to full judgement:

Related CRC Articles:
Cited CRC Articles: