My thoughts on book banning

For this month, we’re chiming in regarding the topic of banned books. Like many on here, I’m not for book-banning – not at all. I believe book-banning is about control more than anything else: an attempt to control what people read, study, believe, discuss, and think. Banning closes doors, shuts windows, turns a back, polarizes, and stops the conversation, denying readers the ability to find relatability, meaning, solace, and connection. If we allow others to control what we read, where will that control stop? I often feel the very books that get banned are the ones that need the most conversation. Book-banning is irresponsible in this way (and also dangerous) because the topics, intentions, and sentiments in the banned book still exist – still waiting to be explored/discussed/addressed/communicated – whether or not we close our eyes to the ideas or questions a work proposes. Having said all this, do I believe that all books should be available on all school shelves? No. I don’t. I wouldn’t want to find the biography of Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy on the shelves at an elementary or even a middle school. I feel that every “age appropriate” book, in the case of school library collections, being questioned should be met with the utmost scrutiny and gravity. Book-banning is a form of censorship, which is a denial of free choice and free thought. It also assumes there’s only one right way of thinking, only one rulebook, only one set of values and beliefs, only way to see the world. We’ve come way too far for that way of thinking. If you don’t want to read a book, don’t read it. If the book’s topic is triggering to you, choose another. As a parent, if a teacher has assigned a book that you do not want your child to read, first and foremost, read the book yourself – cover to cover. If, by the end, you still deem the book inappropriate and/or potentially triggering for your child, have the conversation with the teacher assigning the work. Chances are the teacher will accommodate your child with another title. However, there’s no reason that same title will be triggering and/or “inappropriate” for everyone else. It should therefore not be banned for the masses.


Post a Comment