To Be or Not To Be Banned

August 16, 2010
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Censorship of books suggests books that portray inappropriate ideas and situations should be banned. Books are challenged, meaning they are reviewed multiple times for what they are being accused of (obscenity, indecency, profanity, etc.). If the novel is found to be “guilty” of what it is being accused of, it will be banned. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and The Giver by Louis Lowry are examples of banned books. These amazing reads have been banned multiple times, constantly being challenged throughout curriculums and library systems. The commonwealth have the right to choose what they read for themselves.

People have the right to choose for themselves what they wish to read and what they do not wish to read. In the same way, parents have the right to choose what their children read and what they do not read. A body of people with authority or a government should not have any say in what the commonwealth read. An article written by Dawn B. Sova talks about the banning of the novel The Giver by Louis Lowry. A parent of Port Saint Lucie, Florida, objected to the novel: “Ms. Cerbasi’s concerns about the novel raise legitimate questions about who should decide which books are appropriate for children, and whether or not disturbing stories are appropriate for youth even if they teach a valuable lesson” (Sova, “Giver” para. 3). Her reasoning in which she wishes for the book to be removed from middle-school shelves is: “‘Nobody is a family. They kill a baby who cries at night. I read it and thought- no way. Not for sixth grade. Maybe high school, maybe’” (Sova, “Giver” para. 3). The “inappropriate” ideas that The Giver suggests also apply in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Many parents challenged the novel as being “vulgar” and “offensive”. The use of the word n***** caused it to be accused of being “profane”: “‘Profanity’ prompted the challenge at Oak Hill High School in Alexandria, Louisiana, where it was retained” (Carrington, “OMAM” para. 6). These parents were unnecessarily challenging these novels. They should not have the right to choose for everyone.

Freedom of speech and choice is one of the many great things that America possesses. The banning and challenging of books partially takes away that freedom. Parents should be the deciders of what their children read. If they have an issue with what their child is reading in a class, the school should be formally contacted with, and voice their opinions respectively. Dawn Sova says in her article about Fallen Angels: “According to policy, if a parent feels that a book the child has selected is inappropriate, then a teacher is asked to help the child select another” (Sova, “FA” para. 3). Although parents may feel obliged to speak out on behalf of their children, these attempts to “protect their children” only create arguments and heated disputes. If a novel is banned, that prohibits many other children from reading it. Who is to say that only two parents prevent hundreds of children from reading a certain novel?

Banning books prohibits freedom of speech and choice. Parents are the proper people to choose what their children read, and adults should be able to decide for themselves, not the government. Books should not be challenged and banned, for it keeps children from reading.

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theatercamper1212 said...
Aug. 24, 2010 at 11:39 am
This is really well written. Good Job! I agree with you 100% on this. The more books students and children don't read it is just wrong. I feel everyone has their own opinion but they also have their own voice which they can speak up and say i don't think this is too violent or inappropriate for my child or children to read in school. So that is my opinion, you can like it or not it is just my point of view.
AndreaD This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 24, 2010 at 1:09 pm
yes, i definitely agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. what i was saying was, is that the books do not necessarily have to be "banned", due to a complaint of a parent(s). but thankyou very much :)
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm
I thank you so much for writing this, for you covered a very good point. When hearing that the books you talked about were banned, I stuttered for several moments in surprise. It's ridiculous. Thanks for standing up to it with your words.
AndreaD This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 20, 2010 at 5:26 pm
haha thanks! although someone rated it 1 out of 5 stars...? but it's whatever. thanks again! (:
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