Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982)
Books Challenged: Down These Mean Streets, The Naked Ape, Slaughterhouse Five, and others
A local school board deemed a number of books "anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and just plain filthy" and directed their removal from junior high school and high school libraries. The Supreme Court ultimately remanded the case back to the District Court finding that there was a genuine issue of material fact that precluded summary judgment. Nevertheless, the Court articulated the view that although local school boards have broad discretion in the management of school affairs, this discretion must be exercised in a manner that comports with the First Amendment, that the First Amendment rights of students may be directly implicated by the removal of books from the shelves of a school library, and that local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books.