Banned books; Protecting our kids or restricting them?

In 1975, several members of the school board from the Island Trees School District on Long Island, N.Y., obtained a list of books deemed “objectionable” by Parents of New York United. The board determined that the district’s school libraries contained several titles on the list. Some of the books being: The Fixer by Bernard Malamud, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, and many more. The result, school unofficially removed the books from the school. When word hit the media about this, the school had to explain why. After, a committee said they should be put back on the shelves.
Steven Pico, who went to that school, led a group of students who sued the board in U.S. District Court, claiming a denial of their First Amendment rights. After a long battle, the supreme court ruled 5 to 4 ‘in favor of the students saying that the First Amendment right to express ideas must be supported by an implied right to receive information and ideas. While school administrators have significant authority to control content of speech in schools, that power is not absolute. The students may not be regarded as closed-circuit recipients of which the State chooses to communicate. School administrators dishonestly suppress convention of feeling which they do not intend to confront. The question here is, When can schools limit what you read when there is an almost hidden part in the amendment about reading?
The American Library Association has documented more than 6,000 challenges in the United States between 1990 and 2000. Many times it’s in secret. Librarians at schools that are worried about controversy and will remove a book from the shelves If there is enough people protesting against the ban, the book most likely won’t get removed. The top books that have been challenged include Huckleberry Finn and Of Mice and Men. Even one of the most popular books among students, Harry Potter, has been challenged for its (no apostrophe) use of magic and comparability to Satanism. The First Amendment protects the right of free speech ,which includes the right to read and write books. Many fall along the line of, what someone decides to read, they are allowed to read. In many cases people believe that government should be the judge of what the schools and libraries can have as books. That is up to the reader to decide.
Though I believe books are essential for everyone to have access, whether some small groups or individual persons consider certain books shouldn’t be accessed in public places.Books teach us history, that we can learn from. They teach us compassion. They teach us vocabulary and social skills and new ways of thinking. Research shows that good, old-fashioned reading is still the best way to improve intelligence. ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano said,”Not every book is right for every person, but providing a wide range of reading choices is vital for learning, exploration, and imagination. The abilities to read, speak, think, and express ourselves freely are core American values.” Just because someone doesn’t like a book. Doesn’t mean you should take it away from everyone. When it comes to censorship, is that one individual disagreement. Even widespread dispute over an idea ,or form of expression does not justify restricting access for others to the same information. Most opponents of book banning understand parental preferences regarding their own child’s reading material, but they refuse to grant them the right to make a decision on behalf of all parents about what is or isn’t appropriate.
I do understand that there are reasons to ban books mainly for the reasons that are in the books, such as, racial themes,.The N-word, drug use, profanity including blasphemy, sexual content and nature fall under this category. Sexual content was the top reason cited for book challenges over the last decade, probably because sex is the most dangerous, self-destructive weapon available to humanity.violence was the second because in books it can be glorified and has some tendency to corrupt juveniles. Harry Potter which has been seen to have witchcraft in it. Has sold 450 million copies and it is the number one banned book in america. Unpopular religious reviews, The Da Vinci Code and its use of The Satanic Verses. Which was read as a criticism of Islam and led to assassination attempts ( some successful) on Salman Rushdie, his publishers, and his translators.
Many books have been banned or censored due to a misjudgment or misunderstanding about the book’s contents and message. The books that have banned have been labeled as certain things. Such as too violent one was even banned for being to depressing( The Diary of Anne Frank) It’s critical that the reader can make his or her own decision on the book they choose to read. On another note, over the years, a handful of books have been later dropped from the banned book list. Now banned books week occurs yearly to give readers a chance to revisit past or recently banned books to encourage a fresh look into the controversies the books faced. Books are important, do you really want to take them away from your children, and the other kids who just want to read?

Sources: Banned Books
“Banned Books “. N. p., 2017. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.

Mullally, C.
Mullally, Claire. “Banned Books | First Amendment Center – News, Commentary, Analysis On Free Speech, Press, Religion, Assembly, Petition”. N. p., 2002. Web. 15 Feb. 2017. (

Why We Should Never Ban Books
“Why We Should Never Ban Books”. Odyssey. N. p., 2015. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.

Leigh, J. and Leigh, J.
Leigh, Jamie and Jamie Leigh. “10 Reasons For Banning Books, And 5 Much Better Reasons Not To – Punchnels”. Punchnels. N. p., 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.

LibGuides: Banned Books: Reasons for Banning Books
“Libguides: Banned Books: Reasons For Banning Books”. N. p., 2017. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.


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