Letter – Censorship is troubling

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Editor’s note: This letter was updated on April 24 to correct a factual error. Policy INB doesn’t contain the word “divisiveness.” 


Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Mr. Jason Maresh asserted in a recent paper (“Columnist misled readers,” April 5) that the Isle of Wight School Board’s INB policy does not specifically seek to censor the teaching of American history. I take issue with this.  

While perhaps technically true that the INB policy doesn’t call out “history” per se (as Mr. Maresh noted), the policy is no less pernicious because it opens all school subjects to censorship. And this censorship would be based on the subjective and unclear standard of “controversial.”  It’s fairly obvious that the policy will have a chilling effect on county teachers and school administrators, especially in the teaching of history and the social sciences. 

It’s hard to believe such silencing is not the desired effect of the policy. That is deeply troubling.  It’s also misleading to claim that this policy somehow gives control back to parents, when it actually enables any vocal-enough interest group to impose their views on the entire school system.  


Nicholas Blevins