- Calvin Pang
Why is knowledge banned from schools?
By: Calvin Pang
In the past 2 years, thousands of books have been banned from schools across the United States. This has been seen as a blatant violation of the First Amendment, which protects citizens from censorship by the government. Although the banning of books can legally be done by individuals and organizations, it still borders on being immoral and is frowned upon by many students and teachers. It also acts as a filter that protects young children from explicit content that can psychologically harm them.
Parents have the largest influence on the challenges to ban books. They may be allowed to control what their own children read, but it becomes unfair to restrict what books are available to other people as well. Additionally, the books that are getting frequently challenged are ones that allow students to understand how the world works and their place in it. For example, the novel The Great Gatsby is required to read in some schools and provides insightful social commentary, but it is still challenged often for its sensitive content. Lastly, books act as a creative space for children who are developing at rapid rates. By banning books, it could potentially stunt their growth in empathy and social-emotional development. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, which is frequently challenged for religious concerns about witchcraft, has been proven to improve attitudes towards immigrants, homosexuals, and refugees. This elucidates that books, especially narrative fiction, help readers understand their peers and raise social abilities.
Conversely, there are also lots of arguments for the banning of books. As previously mentioned, parents should have the right to decide what material their children are exposed to and when. Secondly, children, especially those of younger ages, should not be exposed to sex, violence, drug use, or other inappropriate topics in school or public libraries. There are numerous studies that prove that the use of graphic material by students indicates negative psychological effects. These include more casual sex partners and having sex at younger ages. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics has found that exposure to violence in media, including books, can make kids act more aggressively and desensitize them to violence.
In my opinion, it is properly justified as to why some books should be banned from younger students, but there is an excessive amount of challenges against books that are very educational. At a certain age, students should be presented with all perspectives and opinions, allowing them to think for themselves and develop a sense of individuality. There may be many concerns about the amount of influence books can have on students. However, if they are older, then they can decide whether they agree with the idea or not.