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How Schools and Courts Subvert Students’
First Amendment Rights

“powerful and lucid exposé of the increasingly routine censorship of student speech is well worth our attention and concern.”
Floyd Abrams, Cahill Gordon & Reindel, LLP

“A magnificent book. Catherine Ross has given us a beautifully written and original contribution to our understanding of the nexus of constitutional law, lower courts, and everyday life in our public schools. She persuasively demonstrates that schools and judges too often teach ‘lessons in censorship’ that threaten the First Amendment and our vital culture of democracy.”
Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California, Irvine School of Law

“an extraordinary book.  The best account I have read about why we have free speech and why we value it so much. . . . Lessons in Censorship powerfully argues that speech rights in public school are essential to the health of democratic governance – every concerned citizen must read this book.”
Gene Policinski, COO, Newseum Institute, author of the weekly column “Inside the First Amendment”

" a compelling case . . . for the importance of according students free speech not only as a constitutional right, but also as  a vital democratic practice . . . . trenchant analysis and . . . chilling examples show teachers and principals cowed by the protests of parents . . . and jealous of their ability  to impose rules."
Joan Wallach Scott, professor emerita, Institute for Advanced Study School of Social Science, in The Nation

Lessons in Censorship examines disputes about student speech involving issues including the civil rights movement, war and peace, rights for LGBTs, abortion, immigration, evangelical proselytizing, and the Confederate flag. Catherine J. Ross argues that the failure of schools to respect civil liberties betrays their educational mission and threatens democracy... Learn More

News & Current Events

Lessons Launched at the Newseum

Lessons in Censorship launched at the Newseum’s First Amendment Institute November 9, 2015. Watch Catherine in conversation with Gene Policinski, COO, Newseum Institute, author of the weekly column “Inside the First Amendment”:

Catherine Ross discusses Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students’ First Amendment Rights

Named The Best Book on the First Amendment of 2015

Catherine's Best Book

First Amendment News, Concurring Opinions

Catherine’s USA Today Op-Ed “Strangling the Free Minds of Children”

In the face of spiraling campus demands for trigger warnings, safe spaces, mandatory diversity training and sanctions against offensive words . . .



March Events in Chicago, D.C. and New York

March 9: U Chicago Institute of Politics, Battle Over Free Speech on College Campuses, open to public

March 16: Book Forum on Lessons in Censorship at the Cato Institute Washington D.C., open to public, rsvp

March 18: Columbia Scholastic Press Association, NY (attendees only)


"Ross grabbed the room's attention when she said free speech is under attack in schools."  Read it here: