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Addressing Intellectual Freedom and Privacy in Education

Michael Zimmer


In her feature article, “Indoctrination and Common Sense Interpretation of Texts: The Tucson Unified School District Book Banning,” Emily Knox, an assistant professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, attempts to make sense of the controversy surrounding legislation passed in Arizona to remove Mexican American Studies (MAS) courses from public school curriculum. Her analysis focuses on the unique actions taken by Tucson Unified School District officials, who walked into MAS classrooms and proceeded to confiscate numerous books related to the program. Through a discourse analysis of arguments made by those opposing MAS programs, Knox reveals an ironic role of “indoctrination” within the controversy: those who opposed MAS feared students were being indoctrinated to feel there was something wrong with the United States, yet their own act of banning certain books was itself an act of indoctrination by purposefully shaping the information students would be exposed to.

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