ACLU fighting college funding cuts over assigned reading

The American Civil Liberties Union is fighting funding cuts to the College Of Charleston and University of South Carolina Upstate over assigned reading.

The ACLU, along with other organizations have sent a letter asking state senators to reinstate funding. The house approved cutting $52,000 from the College of Charleston and $17,142 from USC Upstate that was to be used on reading programs for incoming students.

Officials with the ACLU argue lawmakers can't prohibit the expression of ideas just because the find them offensive.

According to Victoria Middleton, Executive Director of the ACLU of South Carolina, "This kind of political interference with academic freedom not only violates core first amendment values, it compromises the quality of higher education in our state."

The College of Charleston picks a book each year for the entire campus to read. This year's book "Fun Home" is a memoir about the author growing up as a lesbian in rural Pennsylvania.

USC Upstate has all first year students reading "Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio" containing stories shared on the state's first radio station for gays and lesbians.

Some lawmakers say they aren't asking for a book ban, rather that the schools offer an alternative book or allow a debate on the issue.

To read the entire letter from the ACLU to state lawmakers, click here.

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