The 1st Amendment is the one that seems to mess with the minds of the people most. If you went to downtown Madison and started asking people about the 1st Amendment, most of the people that were asked would hopefully say the following; express freedom of the press, petition, exercise, assemblies, and, the biggest controversial one, freedom of speech. So where does the banning of books – due to obscenities violate the first amendment? Well, let’s find out.
In this world, there seems to always be an issue with the authority figure having a struggle dealing with the freedom of speech. This is where the apparent struggle within communities and where the discussion of banning certain books falls. In the past, there were books that were banned or argued to be banned that people could not figure out why that book was banned or had a hard time believing the ¨why¨. In the banned books, glorious hall, you can uncover To Kill a Mockingbird, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Great Gatsby, The Catcher of the Rye, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The reason for these books to be argued is because the foul language that is used and affecting people thoughts with sexual and violence used. For example, The Great Gatsby proudly explained what the 1920’s was actually like. The reason for the argument of banning The Great Gatsby had to do with the content of the book. For example, how the author expresses death, adultery, and extreme parting. Another book that is challenge is To Kill a Mockingbird. In this past year in Monona Grove High School, there was an issue about a parent wanting to ban To Kill a Mockingbird from the English 9 curriculum. They felt like it contained misleading or inappropriate language regarding African American culture. They felt that if their child read the book, that their child would feel uncomfortable and would be misrepresented. Parents would not want their children to read Fifty Shades of Grey in school, would you? Some parents might think that certain books, like Fifty Shades of Grey and The Advantages of Huckleberry Finn, are bad for their own child’s mind, but other parents thought that those books have no harm just the truth about the time period or race. Parents might worry about what ideas their kids are getting in their heads from reading this book, and may also worry about the actions they will carry out. However, being able to read the book should be a personal choice, so one parent’s desire to have a book banned (removing from shelves) effects other people. Parents have a higher sense of obscenity than their own child, teacher, or others. That is why children and parents differ on what they think is acceptable language and what is a ¨appropriate book¨ to read.
People usually forget about the value of literature, which brings up the question about freedom of speech. Books should not be ban because the violates the freedom of speech in terms of the authors. When people want books to be ban, they are technically violating the 1st Amendment by not giving the author the right to express their words and thoughts. The reason for people acting out is because they want to protect their children from harmful or inappropriate material that the authors portray in their books. That is where the Banned Book Week came to existence. Banned Book Week is a week where the entire book community, like librarians and teachers, gets together because they have a shared passion for fighting against book banning. Parents continue to challenge books that are being used in school, where other parents want their children to go into that library and buy/ look that those books. Books help young children to acquire knowledge and skills needed to learn about America’s past and present, and if parents take the right to read away how do children learn about the world, or what is real and fake. How would you feel if one of your favorite books got banned?
When someone wants to ban a book, for whatever reason, do not bring the issue to the government, bring it to the teacher or school and ask them in person to find another way to deal with the situation. If the child is still under the authority of the parents, then the parent should ask to give a different book to the child. Also, people should have better reasons when banning books other than their thought on the book. For others who want books banned, they should start at the local level and have meaningful conversations about the content and try to reach a solution. Instead, of going to the media, support groups who want books banned. People make such a bigger deal out of it rather than being civil or rational.
RiveDal, Karen. “Monona Grove Parents´ Request To Remove Harper Lee Book Denied”. Wisconsin State Journal, 2018, https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/local_schools/monona-grove-parents-request-to-remove-harper-lee-book-denied/article_b2f6075c-cee0-5e8a-b476-a165f5c0909b.html. Accessed 26 Sept 2018.
Rohrer, Finlo. “Why Are Parents Banning School Books?”. BBC News, 2010, https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-11417672. Accessed 23 Sept 2018.
“Banned Books Week”. Advocacy, Legislation & Issues, 2018, http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned.Accessed 26 Sept 2018.