2013 September

  • 09.30.13

    Getting to the root of suicide behind Ohio prison bars

    This ACLU of Ohio Op/Ed originally appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on 9/30/2013

    On Sept. 11, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction revealed that prison inmate James Blackburn committed suicide while in prison. Blackburn’s death followed the more high-profile suicides of Ariel Castro and Billy Slagle weeks before and marked the eighth suicide in Ohio prisons in 2013.

  • 09.25.13

    Race and Censorship in America

    “Any treatment, especially in the schools, of questions like war and peace, racism – black and white – religion and patriotism, is bound to raise disagreements and stir emotional response…We know of no way to stimulate the growth of our youth if we insulate them from the real issues.”
    -Coalition of ministers in response to a school book-banning incident

    Prior to the 1450s, Europeans considered the residents of Africa exotic and different, but not necessarily inferior.

  • 09.17.13

    The Bluest Eye Blues: Standing up for Toni Morrison

    Censorship Stamp

    This week, members of the Ohio Board of Education criticized one of the literary works of fellow Ohioan and acclaimed author Toni Morrison for being “totally inappropriate.” They do not want Ohio 11th graders to read Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye because it references rape, among other controversial issues.

  • 09.13.13

    Constitution Day, Brought to You by the ACLU of Ohio: Free Resources for Teachers and Students

    The Constitution

    On September 17, 1787, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting. Only one item of business occupied the agenda: to sign the Constitution of the United States of America. In 2004, Congress created Constitution Day and passed a law requiring all publicly funded educational institutions to provide educational programming on the Constitution on that day.

  • 09.11.13

    Hope Rising: Life After Debtors’ Prison

    Jack Dawley

    Do you remember Jack Dawley—the man who spent weeks in jail and lost his job because of debtors’ prison?

    I first met Jack Dawley in August 2012 at a coffee house in Norwalk, Ohio. Life was not very good for Jack at the time.

  • 09.07.13

    Suicide is not Justice: On the death of Ariel Castro

    Prison fence

    Let’s start by acknowledging what nearly everyone already knows. Ariel Castro was convicted of heinous crimes for which he deserved to be punished. With that in mind, his suicide just one month into his sentence does not fill the public with a great deal of grief.

  • 09.06.13

    About-Face: The Troubled Launch of Ohio’s New Facial Recognition System

    In June 2013, The Ohio Attorney General’s office flipped the switch on a new facial recognition program that allows the government to compare anonymous snapshots to the state’s existing database of license photos and mug shots in order to look for a match.