<soapbox> In researching information regarding the U.S. Supreme Court Case United States v. American Library Association, I was truly amazed how many people (blogs, etc.) are terrified that the government is about to take away their freedom to look at porn. I’m sorry folks, but pornography is not what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the first amendment. The British government would imprison people for speaking out against the current ruling party or officials, and in creating our Bill of Rights, the authors wanted to ensure that the same wouldn’t happen here. It’s a slippery slope fallacy to try to argue that filtering out pornography on public library computers so that children aren’t exposed to the seedier side of the web is going to lead to government censorship of unpopular political viewpoints. </soapbox>
Luckily, the US v. ALA case does not have much direct impact on school libraries, as they are nary mentioned in the ruling at all. However, it is not a slippery slope argument to think that some over zealous parent could easily take it upon him/herself to begin a similar lawsuit against their children’s school because they blocked a site about breast cancer or something similarly frivolous.
If you feel like reading my entire brief on the case, click the link below. Unless you’re studying court cases relevant to education (like me and my classmates), you may find it a bit dry, so consider yourself warned.