Tag Archives: consumer education

Should any book be banned from access in libraries just for the fact that the ideas behind them are controversial?

Within our society and as people with many different points of view often times we want our own thought to be understood by everyone else. Although, at times debate and discussion are less emphasized and more focused on the simple desire to force others to conform to the same ideas as our own. This can be seen in instances like schools where they are deciding if they should listen to the angry parents and ban Harry Potter, a notable book, for being related to wizardry and satanism. So, we have to wonder, should we ban any books that might have some controversy with how we want to raise our children?
Is silencing the voice of the writer and practically stripping them of their first amendment right? Nytimes raises one question to the issue. How do the students feel about books being banned? After All, the students are the ones that will be reading the books not the parents, so shouldn’t the students be able to decide what they want to read? For the most part, students answered the question like Erin, an 18 year old in highschool, did by stating “The world is huge, and diverse. Books, whether fiction or nonfiction, open a little part of that world to us. …I think the books helped me to grow up, to learn about the world”. On the other hand how are we to know if the kids are ready to read some books that might require a little bit more maturity or context. We can’t just throw 4th graders into a translated version of Mein Kampf. Thoughtco thnks the answer is just providing a supporting hand if the students need it, like the introduction to the use of the N word in older literature. PBS sees every book as a learning experience and any book that is banned for sensitive material is simply avoiding the problem. Learning new information along with the context in which it is delivered will help us grow as individuals and come to better ideas. Justice Louis D. Brandeis would agree with the fact of having no books banned as seen by a famous case of Whitney vs. California Justice where he stated
*377 “Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”
In essence stating that free speech should be protected and if some things may not sound right, then we can talk to change it. In the end, books are meant for spreading ideas in a way that can sometimes be easier than speeches or other sources. Why not use them as tools for learning and enlightenment?


Works Cites:
“What To Teach Students About Censorship And Book Banning In America.” ThoughtCo. N. p., 2018. Web. 20 Feb. 2018.
Whitney v. California [1927] 274 U.S. 357 No. 3 (Supreme Court of United States)
Schulten, Katherine. “Are There Books That Should Be Banned From Your School Library?.” The Learning Network. N. p., 1285. Web. 20 Feb. 2018.
Strum, Lora, and Lora Strum. “Banning Books Like ’13 Reasons Why’ Makes It Harder For Teens To Open Up To Adults, Author Says.” PBS NewsHour. N. p., 2017. Web. 20 Feb. 2018.


How Do SLAPPs Limit the Freedom of Speech?

Many large companies do not follow all the rules if they can find a way to cut corners.When citizens are affected by these cheats, they sue the big business they believe caused the grievance. People often are SLAPPed which takes away people’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech. SLAPPing, also known as strategic lawsuits against public participation, make suing large companies nearly impossible by creating a financial burden. The Public Participation Project explains that the United States Supreme Court has said that the right to petition the government is the very foundation of our democracy. The project is trying to help people understand how they can fight for their right of free speech. Part of their education process includes an interactive map of the states with the law and how effective it is, as well as a chart that explains all aspects of each states law.

A great number of anti-SLAPP defense attorneys believe that SLAPPing is a way to discourage people from expressing their first amendment right. The plaintiff assumes that the criticism is due to conspiracy or defamation. Professors George Pring and Penelope Canan give an example of a parents criticising the management of their children’s school. The school then SLAPPs the parents which buries them in financial debt they can never recover from. If there was a federal anti-SLAPP legislation, then people would be able to recuperate from the unnecessary financial burden of exercising their right to freedom of speech. When people find a flaw in the community, they will often speak out against the company responsible which in turn hurts this person. Big businesses should not be allowed to revoke people’s right to freedom of speech