Where is the line between banning books and free access to information?
“Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory…” -FDR. In the U.S today, people aren’t burning books but they are doing something just as bad, removing them from schools. Even though the Supreme Court says that everyone person in the United States can read any book that he or she wants, not all books are allowed in schools. Books tend to be removed from a public schools reading list when a book is complained about by the public. Recently, a Minnesota school district dropped To Kill A Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn due to the belief that both books used the n-word excessively. Books that are banned tend to be banned for racial reasons like the ones above yet books like the Game of Thrones series which has tons of graphic sexual and extremely violent content are still allowed. There are other instances of books being dropped nationwide because of complaints that the books offend or people find the books profane or immoral. In any community other than schools these complaints would not exists. Public schools are the only setting where a person’s access to books is questioned. In 1986, the book The Red Badge of Courage was banned by the Bay District School Board because of its depiction of war and its idea that the Civil War was a clash of ideas. Parents also didn’t like the fact that Stephen Crane was not a soldier. Even though this book is banned, many people consider it to be a great, informing book and the Library of Congress even have an exhibit for it because of its “profound effect on the American people”. There are many other books that have made similar impacts on American culture. Books like Huckleberry Finn, Of Mice and Men and the Catcher and the Rye are being banned from schools because they make parents uncomfortable. Katherine Paterson, an author who is frequently censored, spoke out against this saying, “When our chief goal is not to offend someone, we are not likely to write a book that will deeply affect anyone”.
First Amendment and Censorship
“First Amendment And Censorship.” Advocacy, Legislation & Issues. N. p., 2008. Web. 25 Sept. 2018.
Washington Post. N. p., 2018. Web. 25 Sept. 2018.