Saturday, 14 August 2010

US Court Rejects Challenge Concerning Teaching Materials on Armenian Genocide

The United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit, has dismissed an appeal of an unsuccessful challenge to a decision by school board officials in Massachusetts to remove materials from a ‘curriculum guide’ that challenged the Armenian genocide. The issue began with preparation of materials for a genocide and human rights programme that referred to the Armenian genocide. When the draft materials were circulated, Turkish groups protested and some references to ‘anti-genocide’ materials were added to the draft. But faced with further opposition, the references were subsequently removed. The Turkish groups challenged the decision to remove these references. It is this challenge that was dismissed a few days ago by the Court of Appeals.
The Court distinguished the facts from a decision of the Supreme Court, known as Pico, which dealt with the decision of a school librarian to remove certain books deemed offensive from the school library. In that case, the Court, by a rather uncertain majority, held that there had been a violation of freedom of speech.

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