Although a poll found that 94 percent of Americans view the First Amendment as “vital” to democracy, free speech is under attack at an “unprecedented” level, according to the American Library Association. The attacks are coming from both the right and the left and are challenging books and curricula in classrooms and libraries at all levels, from pre-K through graduate school, according to free speech advocates. Since the beginning of 2021, lawmakers in 40 states have introduced some 175 bills to restrict teachers’ speech, 15 of which became law. And last year, there were 729 demands to remove a total of 1,597 books from libraries and schools, nearly double the challenges in 2019. Controversial speakers have been disinvited from colleges, and many students say peer ...

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