9.23.14 43

Why We Should NEVER Ban Books

I live in Dallas, TX. In Dallas there is a suburb of sorts called Highland Park or Park Cities because it also encompasses University Park. Yesterday morning I came across an article that really upset me. This article talked about how the high school was banning books such as Song of Solomon, Siddhartha, The Art of Racing in the Rain just to name a few. Here is the article.

Parents got together and decided that this was a good idea because GOD FORBID there be a sex scene or a scene in a book that discusses sex. When I was in high school in AP English we read, The Handmaids Tale. That at the time was the most scandalous book I had ever read. Did it make me into a sex fiend? No. Did it make me anything but more intelligent and more able to understand struggles people go through? Yes.

We also read a book in that same AP English class called Fahrenheit 451. A book about a world where books are banned. I feel when we start doing things such as banning books in high school classes we are just going more towards a world where books are banned. I understand parents think some violent shows, movies and video games are bad for kids to watch and as a parent I think that is their right to protect their children from that. But classic novels? Really? Great works of Fiction, Non Fiction and Poetry? We are going to start banning this? If that is the case we may as well live in a world like Fahrenheit 451.

This article not only made me upset but it made me sad. It made me sad for the students who will never read these books because as bad as it sounds some of my favorite books are books I was forced to read in high school. Books like The Great Gatsby, The Handmaids Tale, Of Mice and Men, Grapes of Wrath. All books that had some sort of life lesson in it. Things like poverty, murder, mental illness, rape. These are things that happen in life. You can’t shield people from the reality of the world forever.

I guess this is just what I think. I am not a parent. Maybe I can’t stand on this one because of that. But I am someone who loves books. I have always loved books. I do not want to live in a world where books are banned.

banned

 

What is your take on the subject?

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43 Comments

  1. Kate wrote:

    As a high school librarian, I’m obviously against banning books! I mean, sure I understand protecting your children, but… at what point do you stop protecting them? And why is it BOOKS that are banned? I mean.. I understand that sex scenes may be a little “mature” for the audience, but if that’s the case, those teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to watch 80% of all content on TV and 90% of movie content. Those are obviously rough estimates, but I feel like the majority of all TV and movies now revolve around sexual innuendos.

    In my opinion, I would rather know that my child is being TAUGHT a lesson through those books versus just watching a girl strip down on tv.

    Published 9.23.14
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  2. Sara wrote:

    HPISD and their book banning kills me. I’ve worked with a number of HP kids and they are all SO.SMART. Why shouldn’t we challenge them? Why shouldn’t we challenge their conventional thought and let them shape their own opinions? What does this say about the people who are so afraid of books influencing their children’s beliefs that they would resort to such crazy and drastic measures? For what its worth, those parents should mosey on over to Hockaday and see what those girls are reading in English class… then come back and talk about how troubling these books are… All that it is doing to my Hockadaisies is broadening their perspective and getting them to consider things differently. GOD FORBID.

    Published 9.23.14
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  3. We read “All Quiet on the Western Front” in 9th grade history. Several chapters involve the main characters sleeping with prostitutes. Our teacher just told us not to read them.

    Published 9.23.14
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  4. Cassie wrote:

    Ugh I’m with you. Censorship infuriates me.

    Published 9.23.14
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  5. Ech & Will wrote:

    I think that the rough life subjects shouldn’t be avoided. Sex, violence, etc. should be addressed properly. If not, kids/teens will go to inappropriate sources for information. Schools have the unique opportunity to educate their students in the right way in life lessons as well as the traditional school subjects.

    Published 9.23.14
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  6. Heather wrote:

    I agree. I think that it is important to address some of these tough subjects like violence and sex and sometimes fiction is a great way to get the point across and start a conversation. I cringe every time I hear about books being banned. I always like reading books that make you think and reexamine your thoughts and beliefs.

    Published 9.23.14
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  7. Erin wrote:

    This is so on point. I am an avid reader and firmly believe the books that are controversial are the ones we can learn the most from!

    Published 9.23.14
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  8. I was just listening to a bookstore owner on the radio this morning discussing this. (Does that make me sound like an old fogy or what?) Her bookstore is selling the list of banned books at a huge discount this week to encourage readers to pick them up and give them a shot. Especially the younger ones who may not usually spend their money on books. The idea of banned books, classics or not, is so disheartening to me. Give the today’s youth a chance to make up their own minds, discover history in literature, and wrap their heads around what might be deemed offensive. Apparently, I’m really passionate about this subject to write a lengthy comment over it, but I’m glad to find so many others doing the same!

    Published 9.23.14
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  9. Shambray wrote:

    I agree with everyone’s comments. Kids can learn things (bad or good) from so many different influences. Books are not the only way. I think it should be the responsibility of parents to teach our children how to be responsible in what we read, watch, do, say, etc.

    Published 9.23.14
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  10. Nina wrote:

    They are banning Song of Solomon? That’s in the Bible! And yes, it’s talking about Sex, but in a poetic way so that you have to really pay attention (I feel like, or maybe I’m just naive) to what they are talking about. When I was sixteen I had no idea that the “two fawns” were her breasts. And I agree with you, banning books is a terrible idea. If we are going to ban books, we should ban books that really don’t even deserve to be called books (like Fifty Shades of Grey, or Twilight.) Books are meant for students to learn and experience the world. I think that parents should be allowed to say “This is too inappropriate for my child,” because that is their parental right. But banning books for the whole high school? That’s ludicrous.

    Published 9.23.14
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  11. Beth wrote:

    Completely agree!!! Perks of Being a Wallflower and Catcher in the Rye are two of my favorite books growing up!!! So thankful that HHS teachers didn’t censor!!!

    Published 9.23.14
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  12. RIcci wrote:

    Completely agree!! Banning books would just make me want to read them more!! I wonder if those same parents who wanted the books banned are letting their children watch tv? The exact same content is on tv if not even worse.

    Published 9.23.14
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  13. Melissa wrote:

    I maybe have a different perspective than most of your readers. I felt much like you do until my daughter hit middle school. I started to see that she didn’t have the maturity to process some of the things that were being thrown at her. We have since pulled her out and started homeschooling. My intent isn’t to put her in a bubble and shield her from everything, but rather to introduce those things as I feel she can process them.

    Published 9.23.14
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  14. Lindsay wrote:

    Banning books makes me so sad. There is nothing more fun than to open up a new book and just start reading. I still go to the bookstore to buy books “the old fashion way”. Plus when I was in school I was always so excited to get new text books!

    Published 9.23.14
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  15. Tiffany wrote:

    I agree. I don’t feel books should ever be banned but explained, taught and introduced with guidance. I am a parent and although there are certainly books that I feel shouldn’t be read until a certain age and level of understanding is achieved I would never simply ban a book from my child. Instead, I would perhaps read it with them. Just an opinion.

    Published 9.23.14
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    • Nancy wrote:

      I’m with you Tiffany, I agree with everything you said. I don’t think books should be banned but I also feel (and I’m not a parent yet) that my child would benefit more if it was explained to them one-on-one instead, or wait until the child is at a certain maturity.

      Published 9.23.14
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  16. GiGi Eats wrote:

    I couldn’t agree more! NEVER EVER EVER Ban BOOKS! It’s free speech and we have a right to read whatever we want. Plus, books are conversation starters – without them, 1/2 this world wouldn’t know what to say to one another! ha!

    Published 9.23.14
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  17. Seema wrote:

    I agree! There is so much more out there now that incorporates sex and violence yet Books are banned.

    Published 9.23.14
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  18. Linda Kay wrote:

    I’m with you! I can’t see any reason to ban a book…who should make that decision anyway?

    Published 9.23.14
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  19. Bethani wrote:

    haha this controversy is rather amusing. i mean yea i understand what these parents want – to protect their kids, blah blah blah, but i mean these kids have taken health class right? and heaven forbid any of them see that miracle of life video..

    kids these days already know wayyyy more than i did at their ages, so let them have their books already.

    Published 9.23.14
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  20. Andi wrote:

    I agree, no banning of books. It’s like Kate says, if they do that, why just books – there are TV shows, and movies and posters on the street – where do you stop. These are great books, they are history and they should not be destroyed!

    Published 9.23.14
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  21. Julie wrote:

    As a teacher I’m against the banning of books but because some people worry too much it’ll keep happening!

    Published 9.23.14
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  22. Angelic Sinova wrote:

    I recently read a Buzzfeed article about some of out favorite childhood books that where at one point banned (like Where the Wild Things are and Winnie The Pooh.) They said things like “talking animals” with confuse kids and give them false expectations about reality. I think that’s so silly! Books are meant to be an escape for some people! They are meant to take people on adventures without having to leave their house! Banning books for silly reasons is just crazy! Loved this post <3

    Published 9.23.14
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  23. I agree for the most part. I mean, I don’t think there should be a Harlequin section of the local high school library, but banning books that have literary merit just because it might introduce kids to, oh, you know, THE REAL WORLD is ridiculous.

    Published 9.23.14
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  24. I think banning books because of “sex” in them is absolutely ridiculous! It’s part of our society and part of “growing up” so reading a book that barely even delves into sexual things is just part of life. Reading ANYTHING, even an erotic novel, is better than not reading at all at any age.

    Published 9.23.14
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  25. Erica wrote:

    I don’t agree with the banning of books on any level.

    Published 9.23.14
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  26. Brenda wrote:

    There always seems to be huge debate over this question. I think the term “banned” really scares some people, but of course, in most cases it just means they don’t have it in the library or on their reading list. I believe some books have a right to be “banned” for young children, simply because the subject material would be too mature- but just like with movies, as kids get older banning books doesn’t seem to have much point. I sort of impose a ban on badly written books for my kids. 🙂

    Published 9.23.14
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  27. I completely agree! I don’t think books should be banned either. Kids are going to learn about this stuff one way or another, and they may as well learn about it in a fictional way in a classroom so there can be discussion and they can be properly educated about it instead of being left in the dark and completely clueless about the subjects.

    Published 9.23.14
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  28. Melodi Steinberg wrote:

    It’s the helecopter moms that ruin everything !

    Published 9.23.14
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  29. I have the same stance as you do. Books should not be banned because of a few scenes that may appear. Reading these scenes andhaving open discussions about them in class and understand what happened, what it means, and the affects these have. I would rather have my child read a love scene or see something a bit controversial and discuss it. They will come to face with it anyway, so why not?

    Published 9.23.14
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  30. I am a parent, and my older son has started reading more and I can’t imagine telling him that he can’t read a book just because it contains something semi racy (spare 50 shades of gray, ahahahhaha. He can save that for when he’s 18).

    Published 9.23.14
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  31. Brenda wrote:

    Banning books just seem like crazy town to me! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks so!

    Published 9.24.14
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  32. I don’t agree with banning books, especially for high schoolers! I can understand sheltering young children from books with mature themes, but there comes a time when you have to stop being so protective.

    Published 9.24.14
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  33. Chandra wrote:

    I live in Arlington about 30 minutes from Highland Park and I couldn’t believe this when I saw it on the news. The Texas school system is absurd! If we shelter our children from everything bad in the world then what is going to happen when they go to college and you aren’t there to shield their eyes from the real world?

    Published 9.24.14
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  34. Banning books?!?! Such a strange idea. I love reading books.

    Published 9.24.14
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  35. JoAnn wrote:

    I’m a teacher and I think banning books is ridiculous. What better way to guide a student through a complicated social issue then having them read about it? These books are usually interesting and entertaining. It is what makes reading so amazing 🙂

    Published 9.24.14
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  36. Fi wrote:

    I don’t think books should be banned either, it’s like banning a piece of art. Let people decide if they want to read something for themselves, don’t take it away from them altogether.

    Published 9.24.14
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  37. I think banning books is never a good idea. This always makes me so mad! Who do these people think they are that they can decide what is appropriate to read. But, I can believe parents in HP are going along with it.

    As a parent to a teen, I do not think a book with sex in it will ever make them run off and start doing it. In fact, if it did have a little risque something in it, they’d probably all be reading it feverishly instead of the usual battle of trying to get them to read the book for class.

    And, wow! I can’t believe you got to read A Handmaid’s Tale in high school. But thinking about it now, I think kids could really get into that and maybe even feel a passion to discuss it.

    Published 9.24.14
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  38. Lauren wrote:

    I cannot believe this is going on in our world.

    Published 9.24.14
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  39. kendall wrote:

    I can’t believe some Judy Blume books just got banned – I mean, come on people. Really?!

    Published 9.24.14
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  40. Camesha wrote:

    I’m not a fan of banning books. There is something to be learned from everything. This is just sad.

    Published 9.24.14
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  41. brita wrote:

    I totally agree with you! I can’t imagine a world where we banned books all the time. I remember being told when I was young that I couldn’t read a book because I wasn’t old enough and that made me want to read it SO much more.

    Published 9.25.14
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  42. I really don’t understand this one bit I mean it totally insane, even if you ban the books in school most highschool students could just go to book store and buy them. The whole thing just beyond daft

    Published 9.29.14
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