Why We Shouldn't Ban Books

Awhile ago in Language Arts class, we learned about banned books.Banned books are basically books that are thought to be “unsuited” for their intended age group and are therefore challenged by parents to be removed from a school’s or library’s, shelves. I personally do not agree with banning books. I believe that most books that are being banned are teaching children/teens about real life, teaching children/teens lessons. In addition, it’s not your place to decide what other children you don’t even know are reading. But let me elaborate more about why books should not be banned.

First of all, there is the ability of children or teens to learn. I personally have learned a whole lot from reading, and the books I have read have taught me great lessons. People ban books from classrooms because they believe children/teen books are, as said by The Hub, “[. . . the reasons books are being banned is because they contain] violence,racism,offensive language,sexually explicit content,” but are these books really that bad, or are they just teaching children/teens about real life? The very topicsthat these books are being banned for are topics that have been silenced over the years. Yet, in reality, these are also things that are happening to teens very frequently. I believe that if a teen is going through a time where they are possibly contemplating suicide or are possibly developing an eating disorder and they have no one to talk to, what will happen? As most of you may know, if you don’t talk about a problem it will only get worse. This might happen to teens today if they are not educated. Now imagine this: a teen is reading It’s Kind of A Funny Story or When Reason Breaks (both books about suicidal teens), and they realize that they have a few of the same tendencies or thoughts as a character in the book. They could go get help and stop the problem before it starts. You see? The ability for a teen to read any book could save a life.

I also believe that no one should be able to tell someone else what to say, what to do, or in this case what to read. If one parent is saying that s/he is not comfortable with his/her child reading certain material and s/he asks to have all children of that town, library, et cetera, be unable to read that book, that is incredibly unfair. The Hub’s article “Why Do We Ban Books, Anyway?” says “the most common initiators of book challenges are parents, and the most common settings for book challenges are schools, school libraries, and public libraries. In other words, we can assume that books are most frequently challenged by concerned parents, who believe materials are unsuitable for children or teens.” Now I’m not saying that a parent can’t tell his or her ownchildren they cannot read a book. I completely agree with that. I personally know what it’s like for a parent to ban a child from reading a book. My mom has not allowed me to read any John Green books until high school. And even though she does not agree with middle schoolers reading any John Green, she did not interfere with what anyone at my school was reading. And to quote her “You are my child. They are not my child.” You see. It is perfectly fine to prevent your child from reading a certain book, but not other children. That’s just a little overboard.

In conclusion, restricting what a large groups of children or teens are reading is not okay. First of all, this book might help someone who needs it, and who wants to stop other people’s children from reading a certain book. Book banners also have no right to be in charge of them.They are not your children nor are they your responsibility. So why would you ban books from a whole community if their lives are not your business.

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