ACLU challenges Cleveland Heights Schools over Removal of Nintendo Magazine from Library

A principal's decision to remove a magazine from a middle-school library has drawn criticism for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school board from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU said the First Amendment was violated when Brian Sharosky, principal of Roxboro Middle School, confiscated the November issue of Nintendo Power magazine. The magazine covers the world of Nintendo video games, from previews and ratings to secret codes and short cuts.

"Literature should not be removed from a school library simply because one person may find it inappropriate," said Christine Link, ACLU of Ohio executive director, in a statement last week. She called for the board to "immediately order that the magazine be reinstated."

Sharosky deemed that particular issue unsuitable for students in grades six to eight because of a "violent figure" on the cover and content about a game that's rated for mature audiences, according to district spokesman Michael Dougherty

The librarian objected, maintaining that staff members -- including the principal -- are supposed to follow the policy for challenging a publication. That starts with submitting a form to the superintendent and ends with a decision by the school board.

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