ACLU Opposes Censoring Snow Falling on Cedars

News Release: 
Monday, November 2, 2009

 The ACLU's Kitsap County Chapter fought an effort to censor David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars, a murder mystery about prejudice toward Japanese Americans after World War II. After South Kitsap County School District teacher and parent review panels endorsed the book, a vocal group of parents condemned the acclaimed work as pornographic. Chapter activists Sheldon Levin and Nancy Levin organized grassroots opposition to removing it from the District’s 11th grade English class required reading list. Despite an impressive turnout of ACLU members at its May, 2000 meeting, the school board decided to ban the book from classroom use because of a few sexually explicit passages. The Levins then helped circulate a petition that gathered over 750 signatures urging the board to reconsider its decision, but the board maintained the ban.