Jordan Stowe - Managing Editor
Books have been apart of the world for thousands of years, building and teaching the way of the future. For the past several years, a question has been brought up about the policy of books in schools. Why are books being banned? Books are still banned throughout the world. Nowhere in the world can everything be published, although the prohibitions vary strikingly from one country to another: hate speech, for example, is prohibited in a number of countries, such as Sweden, though the same books may be legal in the United States or United Kingdom, where the only prohibition is child pornography.
In the United States, books have been and still are banned by school and public libraries, despite the opposition of the American Library Association to book bans. This is usually the result of complaints from parents, who find particular books not appropriate for their children (e.g., books about sexual orientation such as And Tango Makes Three). In many libraries, including the British Library and the Library of Congress, erotic books are housed in separate collections in restricted access reading rooms. In some libraries, a special application may be needed to read certain books. Libraries sometimes avoid purchasing controversial books, and the personal opinions of librarians have at times impacted book selection.
Mrs. Garlock is an English teacher here at Lone Peak High School, and we asked her professional opinion about the subject.
She replied, “ I don't think any books should be banned. I understand why books are banned and why some find it the correct choice. That being said, I believe each individual should be allowed to choose the books they want to read or not read. We evolve as readers through both positive and negative reading experiences-how else are we able to decide what is worth our time and effort as readers? For example, some students are inspired by books like 13 Reasons Why or Looking for Alaska while other students are triggered or depressed. Rather than banning these books and removing access for all students, it would be more appropriate to discuss the books with students and then let them choose.”
I asked her “Why are books being banned?” She stated, “Books are banned for potentially offensive content such as: language, drug use, violence, and/or sexually explicit content. They may also be banned if a book is considered inappropriate for an age level. The formal process for having a book removed from the shelves of a school library or removed from reading lists within a school requires that parents, administrators, and teachers must be included in that decision.”
Garlock was able to give us a quote by Neil Postman that states “What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.” Her reaction she is, “Just could not agree with this enough. Part of my work as an English teacher is to try and help students find their LOVE for reading again or maybe for the first time.” Thank you Mrs. Garlock for you thoughts.
In english you most likely read ‘The Great Gatsby’ or “To Kill a Mockingbird’. Professors will argue with the banning books process because many believe that these books and others have shaped literature. Here are a list of other books that are starting to be banned in the U.S..
The Great Gatsby. Written in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Reasons for challenge: Language and sexual references
2. The Catcher in the Rye. Written by J.D. Salinger in 1951.
Reasons for challenge: Being "anti-white" and "obscene," profanity, lurid passages about sex, statements "defamatory to minorities, God, women and the disabled," etc.
3. The Grapes of Wrath. Written by John Steinbeck in 1939.
Reasons for challenge: Vulgar language, portrayal of a former minister, "inappropriate sexual references," etc.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird. Written in 1960 by Harper Lee
Reasons for challenge: Language, "represents institutionalized racism under the guise of good literature," objectionable content, adult themes, racial slurs, etc.
5. The Lord of the Flies. Written in 1954 by William Golding.
Reasons for challenge: "demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal," racist, profanity, defamatory to minorities, God, women and the disabled, etc.
6. Of Mice and Men. Written by John Steinbeck in 1937.
Reasons for challenge: Profanity, use of God's name in vain, Steinbeck is "questionable as to his patriotism," sexual overtones, "offensive and racist language," etc.
7. Gone with the Wind. Written in 1936 by Margaret Mitchell.
Reasons for challenge: Racial slur
So what's your opinion, should books be banned or should we just let them be?