Censorship is defined as the practice of removing explicit, vulgar, and highly objectional material. Free expression is one of the base roots for the first amendment, although the first right had been tested and altered throughout time. From elementary to secondary education, books have been banned for racial issues, sexually explicit, offensive language, and many more reasons to protect kids. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was banned based on the racism in the book, but in 1885 when the book was written, racism was how the world lived back then. Books should not be challenged or censored at the elementary or secondary educational levels because they offer students a look into reality and the world of imagination. The Communications Decency Act of 1996 was signed by President Bill Clinton, sparking a great debate about freedom of speech that is protected by the first amendment. The act was first made only via internet, but the same reason books are banned is the same reason the act was signed and passed because of obscene or indecent messages. Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right to petition the government for a redress of government (LII). More than 11,300 books have been banned since 1982 and the growing trend of banning books will not stop. The right to speak and the right to publish under the First amendment has been interpreted widely to protect individuals and society from government attempts to suppress ideas and information, and to forbid government censorship of books, magazines, and newspapers (Admin). People often feel the need to protect children and omit offensive material, but it is cruel to show children and to make them think that there are no flaws in the world. As literature became much more realistic, dealing with social and personal problems. Books started to become real and for parents that scared them.
People complain about the use of language and obscenity, but they are actually denying the authors ideas presented. Many Books in todayr’s society are important to people because of their historical value and the factual value. Donelson concluded that censorship is increasing. He also found that many of the books protested are considered important literature by critics, that some constructive items did not appear in the list of those challenges, that many young adult novels are under increasing attack, and that protesters are trying to protect young people from reality and dangerous books. (Hansen) Books that have historical value and factual value have been proven to be banned for examples, the book Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl because the book was too depressing but in the real-world Anne Frank lived in poverty because of the Holocaust. In todayr’s society parents are known as Lawnmower Parents because parents will mow down any person or obstacle that stands in the way of the saving their kids from problems. Life is not all roses, in the real-world racism, alcohol, drugs are a nonfictional and should not be censored. The book Huckleberry Finn is banned because of the word Nigger but in the real world using that word in 1883 was normal and wasnt considered being racist. The book has been adjusted but it teaches people that during the 1800r’s that was the way of life. The same way goes with a modern books for example, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The book is about a native American boy who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation so that he can attend an all-white high school. The book was banned based on drugs, alcohol, smoking, offensive language and more, but in real life Indian reservations get money from the government and some people often spend it on drugs and alcohol. Also, the book was banned because of the factual value that Indians dont believe in higher education, and the book talks about a boy who wants out of the reservation and attend an all-white school, but Indians often blame the white people for putting them into poverty and giving them underdeveloped houses and schools. Books are banned for the inanest reasons, but people all over the world want to make a world where drugs, alcohol, and sexual illustrations do not exist and thatr’s where the term lawnmower parents comes alive.
Historical books are not the only books that are banned, even fictional books are banned for example, Harry Potter series, and The Hunger Games series. Harry Potter was banned for magic and leading kids to read and attempt spells and curses that are in the book. In the later series of Harry Potter concerns came more towards the violence and the increase of darkness. But mostly the books were banned based on religious reasons. Parents were outraged with the imagination that magic was fun and happy, but the real world was opposite of that. Anyone who practiced witchcraft were burned alive or even worse. People including parents want to censor educational and fundamental material so that children wont have to realize the past mistakes society produced. The Hunger Game series was another fictional story that was banned for many reasons including, Occult/satanic, offensive language, and religious viewpoints. If protesters actually read the book, no magic or witchcraft happens. The only thing not normal was how the future was advanced in technology where it was better than what people have now. The words in the book are pretty mild for swear words, buy each family is different about what their kids hear and by the time they are young adults, they most likely heard curse words on tv or from the observation of people. Not only was offensive language and occult/satanic reasons for banning, but a religious viewpoint was one of the many reason the book was banned. The novel has no religious viewpoints. There are no symbols of religion or churches, but some people believe hope is religious, but hope can be there for everyone, through anything, and that is what the book series is based on is finding hope in the most impossible environment. These two books are only a small fraction of fictional books ever banned based on ridiculous accusations.
Every person who gets involved with debates over literary censorships think they are doing the right thing for students. Advocates for censorship think that exposing children to books like Huckleberry Finn in high school will pollute their minds with racist slur at a time where they have to find out what to believe in. The debate over literacy censorship in schools was never a debate about whether literature should be banned overall. Most of all parents, teachers, and administrators would agree that censorship is the right step to make it necessary to maintain a good environment for students to learn: People who believe that parents and other adults should be able to remove or ban books from libraries argue that they have the right to decide what material their children are exposed to and when; that children should not be exposed to sex, violence, drug use, or other inappropriate topics in school or public libraries; and that keeping books with inappropriate content out of libraries protects kids but doesn’t stop people for reading those books or prevent authors from writing them. People who believe that no one should be able to ban or remove books from libraries argue that parents may control what their own children read, but don’t have a right to restrict what books are available to other people; that frequently challenged books help people get a better idea of the world and their place in it; and that books are a portal to different life experiences and reading encourages empathy and social-emotional development. (Banned Books) The debate was over whether or not to have the line was drawn at Huckleberry Finn because if the book was great twenty years ago, then why all of a sudden is the book is not a good read for students? Anyone who has read the book is doing alright today. If the book was able to survive the battle of time, then the book has to be worth something. The point the author was trying to make when the racist slurs was a simple misinterpretation.
Students, when given the opportunity would always turn down reading a book. Therefore, the teachers expose students to unconventional literature books. There is a huge difference between the meaning of removing books from curriculum and removing a book from the library. When the book is still in the library, the students will still have access to them. It is better to read books and learn through class discussions. The reason why itr’s better is because the teacher can help explain parts of the book that are unclear and point out why racial slur, and profanity was used for a purpose. When students read the book by themselves, they often dont understand the meaning of what the author is trying to show.
Authors have the right to say whatever they want in the books they are writing. High schools censor and ban books because they think that some material is inappropriate for high schoolers. When schools censor ideas, students become increasingly interested in such subjects and typically discover some clandestine means to gain to these taboo ideas (Petress). Schools nowadays are not like schools in the 80r’s. Schools have to be prepared for a rapid change in technology and change in society. The role censorship plays in schools vary; in some schools they are against censorship, they usually discuss and read books or material that is highly censored. Other schools are for censorship; they believe schools should not teach the youth about sex, or violence in historical moments. It is argued that censorship is only valid, ethical, and required when it appears to be only way to avoid that censorship is only valid, ethical, and required to be the only way to avoid or to mitigate provable outcomes for students, teachers, or the school itself (Petress). In a famous court hearing Tinker v. Des Moines school District (1969) two fifteen-year-old boys and a thirteen-year-old girl wore black armbands to school in protest of the Vietnam War and showed that they were for Robert F. Kennedyr’s promise to extend truce in the war. But when the studentr’s peers joined in on their protest, school administration wanted to play chess and make a move to stop the protest, isolate the students, and punish them for doing a harmless act.
The effects of book banning affect more than students, it affects many more such as authors, religious groups, and other citizens. When books get banned, it puts limitations on the amount a person can read or learn about topics. The act of banning books is a key component in the book, Fahrenheit 451, as well as in society.
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