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Banned Books in Schools

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        The Great Gatsby, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Grapes of Wrath, and even Harry Potter are among the hundreds of books that public schools have thought about banning. Why, you might ask? In a society where children are given computers and phones at an extremely young age, why do some feel the need to ban books? Parents argue they don’t want their children having access to books that have explicit content, or are about topics with which they disagree. Some parents believe Harry Potter encourages witchcraft, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’s language is too advanced, and it’s discussions of racism are inappropriate. Even books written for children such as The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby and And Tango Makes Three are banned, because they “encourage poor-spelling,” or are “about two male penguins raising a child,” which some parents believe may encourage same-sex-marriage. Many books are “challenged” because they deal with eating disorders, racism, child abuse, bullying, atheism, or drugs, and some parents feel as though their children shouldn’t be reading those types of novels. Other parents argue that if children aren’t allowed access to books that deal with important social issues, they will adopt whatever ideas their parents have–whether those be good, or bad–and there will be no change in our society.

        Fictional novels are not, however, the only books that are being banned. Many historical books such as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl or Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West have also been banned because they are too violent and depressing. This caused a lot of outrage from people who argued that if children aren’t being educated on what happened in the past, what’s to say these terrors couldn’t happen again?

        Author Judy Blume stated: “Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won’t have as much censorship because we won’t have as much fear.” Blume has had many of her books banned for a variety of reasons, and she and many others believe we need to educate our children on important social issues, and the best way to do that is through reading. Many parents, however, still believe that their children should not be reading certain books, and they are continuing to fight to ban any book that they deem inappropriate. So what do we do? Respect parents’ wishes to censor their children? Or ignore parent’s wishes and educate children in attempt to make them more open-minded and “twenty-first century?” What would you do?

Sources:

http://www.ala.org/bbooks/

http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/bannedbooksthatshapedamerica

http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/

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Banned Books in Schools