Learning Resources: Help! I have a free speech emergency…

There’s been a breach of free speech in your school – what do you do?

English PEN has engaged writer, workshop-leader and academic Dr. Sophie Mayer to produce a set of learning resources for young people and their teachers, to be used in emergency free speech scenarios.

These six learning resources are divided to reflect the kinds of cases English PEN, or any free speech advocate, might have to deal with. Each one tells you about the history of a form of censorship and some of the writers who have experienced it, so you can imagine what it might like to be in their shoes.

The learning resources also offer information about the current situation of writers around the world facing that form of censorship, some questions you can discuss in class, and some ideas and suggestions for how you can change the story.

They are free to download so please share widely. Suitable for young people and educators from 11 years upwards.

  1. Help! A book has been banned at our school. What do I do?
  2. Help! There are protesters outside the performance of a play I’m seeing. What do I do?
  3. Help! Books are being burned! What do I do?
  4. Help! My blog / Twitter feed / Tumblr has been taken down! What do I do?
  5. Help! My local library is closing. What do I do?
  6. Help! I am a writer being threatened with prison / exile! What should I do?


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