Thursday, September 24, 2015

Banned Book Week: Students Make Comments Pro & Con Censorship




This blog post is being designed as a lesson for the English I students at PFTSTA. The teachers and I have collaborated on an activity to celebrate Banned Book Week (BBW). Many times in the past during BBW, I have invited the 8th graders into the library to discuss the banning and challenging of books in schools and libraries. I usually show some videos and share books owned by our library that have been banned or challenged somewhere in the US. This activity always spurs great discussion among the students and teachers. This year we wanted the students to create a written response to the presentation. We thought there was a real world connection if we had the students post their opinion online as a comment to someone writing about censorship in schools. The teachers and I want the students to learn how to compose a well thought out comment that is supported by evidence and concrete details. How more real world could it be than having the students comment directly on their librarian's blog? 

Together, the teachers and I created the lesson that you will find in the slides shown below:



Censorship of books in schools is a very hot topic. There are individuals and groups on both sides, who feel very strongly about  the need for censorship or the need for the freedom to read. When discussing this issue, you can look at it in terms of ethos, logos, or pathos. Now that you have heard my presentation and read several documents that support your stance on censorship, it is your turn to take a stand. Tell us in a paragraph why students should either have the option to read what they want or why schools should keep some books off the shelves of the library or out of the curriculum in English. You will need to support your stance with at least two concrete details. Please follow the rubric and post anonymously and follow the directions on how the teachers expect you to sign your paragraph. 

I am excited to hear what you have to say. Ms. Kahn


102 comments:

  1. I think of this issue as more of a monetary one. I have limited dollars. I can't buy every book for my middle school library. If an author chooses to use language that would get a student expelled or includes references to recreational drug and alcohol use or instructional descriptions of sex, I choose to spend my library dollars on OTHER books.

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    1. That is an interesting way to look at it. However, there are so many fabulous books with language that the students should not be using in school, drug or alcohol use by teens, and sexual activity by teens. I would not want my students to miss out on the opportunity to read those books if they so choose, and it is choice in the library, not a requirement. If you think about what happens in Shakespeare, especially Romeo and Juliet, would you decide to keep his works off the shelves of the library?

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    2. I think that books should not be banned from libraries and some schools. I agree with several articles that state that books should not be banned, only that the people that read them should stop reading them. I think that this is good because it is not fair that just because a few people complain, that the other people that want to read the “banned books” can’t read them. According to the author of Capitan Underpants, by Dav Pilkey, was considered a “banned book because of parents not liking the mention of underpants. I agree that this author said that the parents that did the complaining would redirect it to telling their children not to read the book. I agree with this because I think that it is unfair that other people that like the book and want to read it, but it is banned in that area. Most complaints come from parents or concerned guardians, this is why the books are often banned in schools and libraries. Certain organizations ban books based on the reviews that a book gets. Normally, if a book gets bad reviews or complaints about a certain component, the book will banned. Overall, I think that books should not be banned and people should be able to read what they want.
      NLB 3rd Bordelon

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    3. I believe that books shouldn't be banned, and it is because of many reasons. The main reason is that by banning books, you're sort of banning a fact or some part of history or life. Take To Kill a Mockingbird for instance. People want to and have banned this book, just because it talks about things like rape and racism. By banning this book, they are basically forbidding children from learning about history. They are preventing the youths from learning about something that was a real thing and that people need to know about. Like the article "Book banning: Learning from our past mistakes" says "discomfort is necessary when discussing difficult subjects like abuse, mental illness or sexuality." If parents ban a book about any part of history, they are taking one step closer to let history like that happening again. Another reason for books to not be banned is that they really don't need to be. If you feel that a book your child is reading is to mature for them, simply keep them from reading it, and not the whole school or state. Just because you don't think your child is ready for a book, doesn't mean every other parent thinks that about their kid. Like Nancy M. Bailey and Fenice B. Boyd said, "Although parents and guardians have the right to demand that their child will not read a particular book or view a specific film, no one parent or guardian has the right to demand that an entire classroom, school, or district should not read a particular book or view a film." Personally, I can see why some parents want to ban a book, but you do not need, nor have the right, to ban the book from everybody.

      KAN Ritter 3rd

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  2. I believe that the freedom to read is a right that everyone deserves to have. I do agree; however, that some censorship is needed. Children of elementary age should not be reading books such as The Fault In Our Stars. If you are of appropriate age to be reading such books but you don’t like them, simply put the book down. Just because you do not favor this particular book does not mean you have to deprive others of the privilege of reading it. It is just unfair. There are many amazing literary works out there that can be deemed “inappropriate.” However, things that are in these books such as crude language, drugs, etc., are things that exist in our world. Everyone needs to learn about these things at some point. In “Censoring the imagination: challenges to children's books,” Judith Saltman states that, “ All books contain messages.” This is true to the extent that everyone who has ever written a book is trying to get a message out there. Saltman also says, “Intolerance of differing views in children's books easily leads to vigilante tactics, censorship and the suppression of the imagination.” This could definitely happen. This is a reason that we must practice tolerance as much as possible. A lot of people are only accepting to their own ideals. This is mostly why book banning happens. Sometimes, everyone seems to miss the whole point of writing: to express yourself. EGR 4th Bordelon

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  3. I believe that book censorship is not a valid way of stopping children from reading invalid or out of age books. I believe this because if a parent takes a book off the shelves for the sake of their child then the book would be off the shelves for all children. I also believe that if a parent takes a book off the shelves then that could mean that parent is the only one who realizes it is an unfit book for kids. This could also mean that parent is overreacting and is ruining other kids ability to read that book. Overall, I believe that if a parent does not want their child to read a book, instead of taking it off of the shelves, that parent should try to find another way to stop their child from reading that book.

    -B.G. 3rd Ritter

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  4. Banning books? I really don’t think they should be banned or challenged at all. Just because a book has disturbing or very strange images or descriptions does not mean it should be banned. It is really unfair to other people that want to read the book to learn. If you don’t want to read it, that’s fin don’t read it. Just don’t ruin it for other people. If a book is taken off the shelves then it should be talked about. For example why was it banned? Why did you not like it? If you as a parent don’t like the book just think that you don’t want your children to read it. If you don’t have kids then just ignore the book. As Neil Gaiman said, “it takes one angry person pointing people at one thing that upsets them and suddenly the internet is a hornet's nest…it means people are having to not say what they think and the point of freedom of speech is that you should be able to say what you think, defend what you think, argue with people, disagree with people. All of that stuff is hugely important.” I fully agree with what he says and he also mentions that just because you have this freedom that you shouldn’t be a jerk about it. By being a jerk you are making “an idiot of yourself and the freedom not to be as unpleasant as you possibly can be.” He means that by saying all the mean stuff then you are making other people afraid to say their opinion of the matter and taking away what they say. So if books should be ban is not a question, of course they should not be banned. It’s up to the person if they want to read the book and it’s their right to education.

    -KNB 1st Bordelon

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  5. Books need to be censored for the well being of America's youth! Middle school aged children (usually aged eleven to fourteen) have not yet developed that "moral compass" that tells them what's right and what is wrong. While many people would argue that free agency is important, parents can not just put faith in to the fact that their children are "perfect". Do parents know every detail of their children's lives? Usually not. As Eric Manning put it, "It's not censorship, it's parenting". Parents can not be there all the time to protect their children from the often disturbing scenes in many of today's books, so they need to be able to trust school librarians to not hand their child a book that is against religious or family values. "If it’s a collection of books specifically for children, this means selecting books which are both age appropriate and which are not likely to damage their intended audience." says The American Catholic. This proves that having a child read a book not intended for their age can truly damage them. If a student reads a book filled with profanity at school, can we truly punish them if they too use profanity in class? It was a teacher who gave them the book, wasn't it? Some things simply shouldn't be parts of the rising generation's curriculum. What students read affects who they will one day become, and I for one don't want a generation of drug-addicted, dirty-minded, and violent people leading America. Let's rise to the challenge. Let's censor books.

    -SMJ 3rd Ritter

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  6. I am in defense of book banning for the reason that reading books about racism can affect a person later on in life. Earlier this year, multiple black people were shot at a church due to (you guessed it) racism. Thus, the Confederate Flag was abolished because it was viewed as a symbol of racism. It’s not bad to publish something about racism; it's how we interpret it. Everyone has a different way of interpreting things. Because of this, someone can get hurt, killed, etc. Racism is something that needs to be controlled in books. There are many other problems in books to be controlled, such as sexual terms, inappropriate language, and bullying. In conclusion, I think that if we can control the bad things about books, we can all live in a safer and more peaceful environment and unban the books that have been banned.

    -BWM 3rd Bordelon

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  7. Freedom to Read
    A freedom to read any book should be given to any person and in any place. The thought of books being banned just encourages a reader to want to read it. Students should also use these banned books because some of them may have important stuff that a person could learn from. People may oppose to some specific books and suggest that people don’t read them because they feel that the books may have inappropriate things. According to the article, Publishers Weekly, Albanese states that, “issues of sexuality come up most” (1). This is one of the many reasons that some people suggest why the book is inappropriate. They may think if young-aged students grow up reading the inappropriate things, they will end up doing it. Another example from the article is that some books are banned because of the low grade level writing that’s in them (Albanese, 2015). If the students read this, they will grow up spelling incorrectly and unlikely to read chapter books. My point of view of this topic is that people should read what they want to. Clearly, if they read it, then it is something that they are interested in or want to learn about. We also live in the United States of America, which is a free country and promotes citizens the freedom of education.
    -MSA 4th Borelon

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  8. I believe that children should have freedom read any book that they, or their instructor requires them to read. Many books all across America are being banned because they contain ideas that adults deem as inappropriate. As of the past decade, the want to ban books has increased. Many award winning, and popular books have been criticized for the language, or themes that they contain. Books such as TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD are great literary pieces; yet they have been banned in many states. This prevents the children in these states from being exposed to this great book. There may be language that is looked down upon by many adults, but there is also many great themes as well as interesting plot lines. The book as a whole should not be banned because of use of language in the book. Adults should not judge a book based on certain instances in which language or other themes are presented in the book. People’s personal beliefs make them blind to the truth of what a book really is. If a parent does not want their child to read a certain book, they are allowed to prohibit this book in their household. There is nothing wrong with this, however, banning books all across America because a group of parents does not want their child to read is completely wrong, and should not continue happening.
    -ASF 3rd Bordelon

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  9. I feel as if book censorship is an unimportant practice; this is because everyone has the freedom to read what they want, with the proper permissions of course. Certain books are inappropriate for younger audiences, and should be restricted from those younger audiences, but not taken away from everyone just because somebody doesn’t agree with a couple of sentences. If you truly do believe that a book is the most inappropriate thing that you have ever read, than don’t let your family read it, don't take it away from everybody else, thus taking their enjoyment of that book. Although some books are just completely vulgar, somebody else enjoys, or believe the content of that book. When you censor a book, you render it unusable; when you render a book unusable, that book can only be accessed by a select few people. I am not in favor of book censorship, I believe that books should be be kept around, no matter what their content is.

    -BTR 3rd Ritter

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  10. Parents who ban books from school libraries often aren’t thinking of others. The children in the library could benefit from any book. A lot of books are based off of things that occurred in real life. It may be cruel, but children can learn from and relate to situations in the book. A lot of books that children go over in school are challenged. This is wrong because the books children read in school are approved in their school. This means that it is for children of their age group and they are ready to read what is in the book. The book the students read also teach them important themes or messages, otherwise they wouldn’t be assigned. Whether you want a book banned or not depends on the type of person. There are people who restrict their kids and people who allow their kids to read anything. The parents who restrict their kids sometimes make a decision that isn’t up to them by banning books. If a child’s parent allows him to read anything and he goes to grab the book to find it gone, how is that fair. People are different and they raise their children differently. It is up to them what their children read and not anyone else. If someone disagrees with a book they can just prevent THEIR child from reading it. Books shouldn’t be banned from school libraries because it isn’t fair.
    -NTD 3rd Ritter

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  11. In my opinion, the freedom to read plays a crucial role in the development of a child's comprehension, learning ability, and most importantly, imagination. When a person, no matter the age, begins to read a book, they step into a new world. Here, they are able to develop opinions and imagine the scenario as they want. However, some books may not be the most appealing to a person. This doesn't mean that they should take away the right to read that book for everybody. That person has a choice on whether or not they want to read it. This book that they think is inappropriate, may open a whole new world to another person who doesn't deserve getting this right taken away.
    A child's parent may not accept the book. This is another example on how books get banned. Again, the parent can tell their child not to read it; they do not have to ban everyone's children from reading it. To me, when I read a book, the language doesn't bother me, nor the people. Characters in a book may be homosexual, racist, or any other description that people don't accept. However, when reading a book, you meet new people. Though what they believe may not be right to you, I still think everyone should get the chance to experience life from another point of view. It's fascinating to see the world from a new perspective. We can learn from this. So, with that said, why shouldn't everyone get the opportunity?
    ~JEL 4th Bordelon

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  12. I believe that the entire U.S. needs the freedom to read whatever they want. However, I do agree that there's need to be age restrictions on books inappropriate to younger children. In "Neil Gaiman on Censorship" Neil states that he read " Michael Morbook" and "Giles Goat Boy" and other books when she was 12-years-old. Now looking back on it, Neil states that most of the books he read, "definitely had content that [he] would not particularly had given to a 12-year-old. Books like "Michael Morbook" and "Giles Goat Boy" should have age restrictions for children 12 years and under. Besides that, there shouldn't be a reason why you couldn't read a book you're interested in. If you dislike the type of book you're reading, just put it back on the shelf and not complain about it to everyone else. People need to respect other people's opinions on books and enjoy the book their reading. In "Neil Gaiman on Censorship" people have argued that people will be traumatized if they were to read a book that was unsuitable for their age. I've have yet to witness a person "been traumatized for life" from reading something inappropriate. Anyways, it's up to the person whose reading the book to examine if the book is to unfitting for them and don't have the desire to read it. People should not be interfering in other people's desire to read the books that they wish to read.

    -VPN 4th Bordelon

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  13. I feel that books should not be banned to read. If we have the freedom to write anything we want, shouldn’t we also get the freedom to read what we want? Books are banned due to religion, sexual content, language, violence, and anti-government. Also when an author’s opinions go into a book, it could get banned due to other people not agreeing with the book. What people need to learn is if they don’t like a book, they should just not read it and forget about that book instead of banning it due to their own personal opinions. People get so angry if a book says a curse word that they just have to go out and try to get it banned due to it offending them. People just need to learn to leave a book alone if they don’t like it.

    -ARG 3rd Bordelon

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  15. In my opinion, I think that books should not be banned in the United States. If there is a banned book that has been written by a famous author, then people may think that they should not read it. There are many ways a book can be banned. It can be banned if it contains violent, culture, and personal opinions. Books should not be banned because children may want to read a book, but their parents may not let them read it. If a child can not read a book, then they may tell other people that it is a very bad book to read. Since there would be negative comments, people would not want to read it based on someone's false opinion.
    -LCP 3rd Bordelon

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  16. Many believe that books should not be banned (for the most part). Most would understand a book with sexually explicit content to be banned in the children's section of any library. A certain version of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD was banned due to the girl having a wine bottle in her basket. Most children that are under the age of ten years would not even notice that. In certain situations, it makes sense to ban books. In many, however, the banning is unneeded. If a parent sees a child with a book that they do not want the child to read, they can stop them and tell them not to read anything like that certain book. You can ban that book, but someone else might love that book and want their own child to read it.
    -JDS 3rd Bordelon

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  17. Books should not be banned because not many conform to people’s ideas of a good book. You will not find many books that don’t contain curse words, racism, or sexual themes. If you ban all of the books that contain these items, there will not be many books that entertain high school age students. It would be better for the students to read about these items in book rather than do them in real life. To ban books would be like saying teenagers can do things that parents wouldn’t approve of.

    -MRJ 3rd Ritter

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  18. Personally, I believe that all people no matter the age or place should have the freedom to read whatever they shall choose. Some parents believe that certain books are not of correct maturity levels for their children. In fact, 3,500 book challenge attempts have been made in the past five years. These parents are not only trying to remove that book from their child, but they are also removing the ability for other people to read as well. Censoring books can be easily avoided. If a parent were to have a concern about a book, that parent could just remove that book from their home, and would no longer have to challenge this book. This would grant the parent’s wishes, and not take away the book from other students. These student will still have the opportunity to read their favorite works, but one child does not have to effect everyone.

    MBP- 4th bordelon

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  20. I feel that books should not be banned. Even though some of the parents challenge the book, there is nothing done to remove that book. If a group of parents say that a book is bad for their children, and it's above the age level their children are, something should be done. There are certain types of books that shouldn't be included in the library. For Instance, ones that promote racial discrimination. Also ones that include very harsh, false comments against certain religions. These are books that need to be banned not ones that teach kids about how bad drugs are. When you have a book like that it shouldn't be banned even though it talks about drug use. The thing parents see is drugs and immediately get offended because of it talking about drugs. It might get banned even though it was telling kids why not to take drugs. Books shouldn't be banned unless they actually teach kids things that are bad or incorrect. JCA-3rd Ritter

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  21. Book censorship is wrong in many different cases. In fact, it is not right in any case at all. When an author writes a book, what they write is what they want the reader to see. It is their voice, in a way. If the work is changed or censored in any way, their voice is being destroyed. The work being censored does not only affect the artist, but it also affects other readers. If one has a problem with something, they just have to simply avoid it. They just have to not let the work in their home or in the hands of their children. This solution will work for everyone. In conclusion, book censorship is wrong. Just because one has a problem with something doesn’t mean they have to ruin the experience for everyone else. It completely disobeys the first amendment.
    -CJF 1st Bordelon

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  22. Everyone has a different opinion and a different taste in books, so every one should get a say in what they read. I do not believe that books should be banned. We have the freedom to practice any religion, speak our minds, and have certain beliefs, so why are we not allowed to read books with the same ideas? Books get banned for containing sexual content or language, violence, anti-religion, racism, or anything related to the LGBT community. Banning these books are not going to stop any of this. I believe that children should be able to read any book they desire, no matter how vulgar the topic or theme. They are soon going to be exposed to these ideas and themes later in life, so reading these books can actually benefit them later on. Neil Gaiman stated that his parents did not have any rules on the books he read. Gaiman mentioned that he read a few books that disturbed him at a young age, like Charles Birkin's short story "Harlem Horror", and states that he "definitely wasn't traumatized for life." Sure, parents can be allowed to prohibit their own kids from reading a certain book or books, but not other people's children. People need to take into consideration other people's opinion and taste in books before trying to ban one they think is "inappropriate." If they do not agree with the theme, then they don't have to read it.

    - MGE 3rd Borelon

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  23. In my opinion, books should not be banned nor should they be challenged. This is a very popular topic, for many years this has been disputed between many people, many times. The solution to this problem is very simple, just don’t read it! If you don’t like a book or are not comfortable with your children reading something, just don’t read it or inform your kids that you don’t want them to read it. Just because you don’t like a book or are not enthusiastic about a book, you don’t have to ruin it for everybody. Schools have fought for many years on what should be allowed in a school library, but there is a very simplistic answer. Talk to your child’s teacher and see what can be changed, do not ruin reading for everybody. There have been many cases of parents being upset and signing petitions to get certain books of the shelves. In one case, the parents were offended by the book showing racism, and I fully respect their opinion, I just feel that they could express it differently. . Everybody should have the freedom to read what they want, and not be told what they can and can't read.
    ~OAL 1st Bordelon

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  24. My belief is that kids and adults should be able to have the ability to read whatever they want. Many people seem to agree with my belief, for most librarians and teachers fight for kids’ freedom to read the books that they would like to. In “Censoring the Imagination: Challenges to Children's Books,” the author states that librarians “do not restrict students access” to books. It also states that teachers also follow this and guide, but do not restrict what their students read. This shows that parents can only control what their own selves read because there is no way to avoid the many novels that teachers will assign their students to read. To Kill A Mockingbird is a banned book throughout the United States, and according to “Defense of To Kill a Mockingbird,” the banners of the book reacted to this because of “their own perspectives on the book’s theme.” I think that banning books won’t do anybody any good because if kids really do want to read a book, they will find a way.

    -ECG 4th Reriod Bordelon

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  25. In my opinion, books should not be censored. Everyone should have the freedom of reading whatever they want. No matter what content it is they should still read it, only if they want to. For example, a book might have sexual content that is not suitable for a young age. However, the book teaches a very important moral to life. It’s okay. There is an educational value to the book with some explicit content. As Neil Gaiman said, “putting rules on the back of books saying ‘when you are old enough’ is probably a mistake.” It shouldn’t matter what age you are. As long as you know right from wrong, and understand the content, everything will be okay. Banning books because of something explicit can also interfere with life. If a book is released and talks about murdering someone, it’s most likely going to get banned. Why? Because of “violence.” So what, the book can teach a young person what happens when you murder someone in life. If you don’t show them this book, then they probably will go and murder someone in life because they didn’t know it was illegal.

    -IYW Ist Bordelon

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  27. I am against banning books because I believe that people should be able to read whatever they want, not based off of what other people judge as inappropriate. The first amendment states that all people have the freedom to express ourselves as they see fit. This includes the right to have an opinion and for it to be stated or heard. By banning books, you are essentially restricting a person’s ability to create an opinion on that material and taking that right from them, going against this part of the first amendment. While the opinion of the people who do believe these books should be banned is still valid, I do not believe this should affect other people’s ability to view the material, as it is just their opinion on the matter. Rather than they making the decision of banning the material from a large amount of people, just worry about restricting it from people they have a large amount of authority over like their children or close family.

    - EAB 4th Bordelon

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  28. Books should be a symbol of freedom. I think that American children should have the right to read what the want to read, but I also do believe that some censorship should happen. Elementary school students should not read books like To Kill a Mockingbird and other novels made for mature readers. As Emily Knox, the assistant professor of library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, states “What I find in my work is that issues of sexuality come up most.” As an example, Sherman Alexie’s novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is about a young man’s sexuality. Alexie’s has been banned in many places across the nation. I believe that if a child want to read that book, then the library should let them. However, this book should not be read by fifth graders. The Captain Underpants series is a more recent example of parents wanting to ban a book from the content. Knox says how the Captain Underpants series encourages little boys to start making diaper jokes, fart jokes, that sort of thing. Also, some of the concerns revolve around the fact that there are improper spellings in the books. For example, when the boys write their own comic books, they don't spell well. There are concerns that children are reading below grade level, and that the book encourages their kids not to push themselves to read books without pictures in them. She also states “there’s actually a lot going on the Captain Underpants, and in some ways it ties to all these stereotypes about boys. How they act and what sort of things they want to read, and how Captain Underpants reinforces some of those perceptions. In my opinion, children should be able to read whatever they please but to a certain extent. Libraries should have every genre of book, but also librarians should monitor the book a child checks out.

    KMB - Bordelon 1st period

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  29. I feel that students should have freedom to read whatever they want. However there should be some censorship. I believe that the students should have the freedom to read whichever book they want even through they have drug use, sexual content, etc because the book can be great and you can gain some life knowledge, like the book "To Kill a Mockingbird". The book is great but it has strong language and rape. They should also have some censorship because students in like elementary school should not be reading books like "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" or "To Kill a Mockingbird" because it has foul language and bad content. If the reader thinks the book is bad because of the language that is like judging a book by its cover. If you think it's bad then put the book down and read something that is good for you. I am just saying if you the reader judge a book by its language then you don't know what you are missing out in because the book can be interesting, funny, great, etc. I strongly support that students/readers should have the freedom to read whatever they want but at the same time there should be some censorship.

    -SP 3rd Ritter

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  31. This particular topic is a very complex issue. Authors give a piece of themselves to the world when they write. Although some works of literature can be offensive or inappropriate, the majority of writing is beneficial to the development of opinions and character. Therefore, I believe books should not be banned. I can understand that the emotions an author was feeling at the time they wrote a work will influence their writing, thus possibly offending the audience with the intensity of their opinions. If others could understand that as well, literary works would not be eradicated no matter the content.

    - CMR 1st Bordelon

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  32. Book censorship is wrong in many different cases. In fact, it is not right in any case at all. When an author writes a book, what they write is what they want the reader to see. It is their voice, in a way. If the work is changed or censored in any way, their voice is being destroyed. The work being censored does not only affect the artist, but it also affects other readers. If one has a problem with something, they just have to simply avoid it. They just have to not let the work in their home or in the hands of their children. This solution will work for everyone. In conclusion, book censorship is wrong. Just because one has a problem with something doesn’t mean they have to ruin the experience for everyone else. It completely disobeys the first amendment.
    -CJF 1st Bordelon

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  33. I personally believe books should never be banned or challenged. Instead of taking the books off of shelves, the seller of the book should be just be sure that the reader understands what is going to be in the book and understand that they may be offended by some of the things in the book. I think books should be sold similarly to video games. With video games, there is a rating on the cover. Next to the rating, there is a brief description of things that may come up in the video game, such as strong language or use of drugs and alcohol. Even though the rating is on the case, the seller of the video game must inform of the buyer of everything that requires viewer discretion, and if the guardian does not agree that the child should be playing the game, the child cannot purchase the game. In order to let a children purchase a mature game, the legal guardian of the child must agree to let the child play. I believe that we should treat books as video games, and in order for a child to purchase the book, both the child and the guardian of the child should be warned about any mature things that may appear in the book. As for adults who intend to read the book, they as well should be informed about the offensive or mature things appearing in the story and before purchasing the book, they must agree to the terms. Also, as implied in the interview, banning an author’s book is like taking away his or her right to freedom of speech. By taking an author’s book off of shelves, you are keeping the public from reading the thoughts of and ideas of an author and the author of the book cannot share his or her thoughts, which is like taking away someone’s freedom of speech. Also, I feel like banning an author’s book is a waste of time, money, and paper because the books first have to be written, which takes lots of time and thought. Getting a book published also takes up time because usually books don’t get published on the first attempt. Last, banning books waste money because it cost money to make copies of the books. The writer of the article I read stated that the only people who tried getting rid of books were Nazi’s and people in the middle ages who were afraid of progress, and by banning books, we would be regressing rather than making progress, just as the ignorant middle age people and Nazi’s. I personally believe we should not ban books because it waste time, money, and talent and by banning books, we are taking away an author’s right of freedom of speech.

    ~TMW 1st Bordelon

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  34. I believe that everyone in this country has a right to read what they want to. Of course there will be the parents that do not allow their children to read certain things, but that is their decision. Why should we not be allowed to read something or "challenge" that book just because of a certain parent who doesn't want their child to read it? I do not believe that this is fair to the people that do not have certain rules to read, such as myself. I do understand how some people see books with sex, drugs, violence, etc. to be vulgar or inappropriate, but those "vulgar" things usually have some kind of lesson or moral behind them that one could learn from. I think that it is better to learn about some of these vulgar things through reading, rather than somewhere on the streets or from an unreliable source. The people who do not agree with that or those books should keep their opinion to themselves or their household, rather than ruining someone else's reading experience.


    -ZCM 2nd Ritter

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  35. Diverse opinions on various topics are widespread. Choosing whether to censor or not censor books can be a challenging debate. I support the choice for everyone to read freely. Limiting someone’s privilege to read can stop him or her from expressing themselves in a way that they may not be able to do physically. Additionally, preventing someone’s freedom to read should not be decided by governmental authorities. Even though a student’s parent restricts their child’s access to read a particular book, this should not affect other students. Prohibiting someone from expressing themselves or taking away their liberty of imagination should not be allowed. Reading a book can have a major impact on someone’s life; however, it is their decision and it is not someone else’ place to decide what that person should and should not read. I believe if someone does not express themselves easily, reading can give them confidence or the imagination that can allow them to do so. No one should limit another person’s freedom to read because no one truly knows why that person is reading the book or how the book is positively impacting his or her life.
    -CRR 4th Bordelon

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  36. You have the freedom to read. If you don't feel as though a certain piece of literature should be read, don't read it. With this being said, you shouldn't stop other people from reading a particular book because you don't like it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, therefore a few people who dislike a book shouldn't take that book from the eyes of a population ten times the size of the people who disagree with the viewing of this book being acceptable. Books help people get through life. As stated in the article, "Book Banning: Learning From Our Past Mistakes","literature helps them (children) understand their own lives through the minds of others." Books are powerful in the lives of humans. Banning books is also a waste of time. If you ban a book in a library, that doesn't mean the book cannot be obtained. Books can be purchased online, downloaded, and retrieved in many more ways. If you are banning a book, you are possibly taking a way a message than can save someone's life, and you are wasting valuable time.

    -D.P.W 1st Bordelon

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  37. I personally think that censorship on books should only be allowed for parents to keep their OWN child away from the book. The PFAW says that, “Almost every idea, at one point, has proven to be objectionable to someone.” This shows how an author would think that his book is great, but a million more people think that the book is horrible. I think that if you’re a parent and you don’t like an author’s book, don’t try and make it so nobody can read it at all. The best way, if I was a parent, would be to make sure my child doesn’t get to read it. Also the billions of other children in the country want to read the book as well. The sexual content, violence, and drug use is for THEIR parent to worry about! As PFAW states, “Seventy-one percent of the challenges were to materials in schools or school libraries.” These parents have done so much and ruined not only their child’s curiosity, but the whole school’s curiosity for the book. If the children want the knowledge and morals of books, let them have it! I have always wanted to receive and interpret knowledge from every book that I can, and I will, always. FNM 1st Bordelon

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  38. I feel that banning books because one person dislikes it is absurd. Every book is different, as well as every person, so the book that is being banned for the satisfaction of one person could be the opening to a different person’s imagination. If a book is taken away, it limits someone else who may love or appreciate that book. Every person has a choice to read a book, but that choice is taken away when there is no book. One book may be evil or inappropriate in one’s eyes, but to another that book can be very exciting or interesting, and they deserve a chance to read it. Now, certain books may not be appropriate for young children, and it is the parent’s job to say yes or no to the book, but this does not mean that the book should be banned. Just because one child, a minor, cannot read an explicit book does not mean that a person of appropriate age cannot, they should only control what their child reads. Also, when reading a book that is twisted or unethical to you may be normal and okay for others. For example, a novel has a homosexual in it; I would think that it is okay, but to someone else this could be profound. Do not limit anyone of a book just because you simply disapprove of it. It is important to let someone have their own thoughts, their own mind, and their own imagination. Let someone read and learn from a book, don’t take away their opportunity just because you don’t find it worthy of review. Everyone should have access to any book; they do have a choice to read it or not, don’t take away that choice.


    ~NBB 4th Bordelon

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  39. I am against banning books from libraries and schools. Even if someone reads something that contains content that is illegal, inappropriate, etc., it doesn’t mean that he/she is going to want to do what is in the book. The reader will most likely not be greatly affected by the content in the books. As Neil Gaiman, author of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and CORALINE, says, “I definitely haven't been traumatised for life and I'm not entirely sure if the subversive element made things enjoyable.” Books are not going to scar someone emotionally. If one comes upon a part in a book that is uncomfortable for them, they will put the book down or they will skip the part. Banning a book takes away the opportunity of reading something that may be enjoyable. The First Amendment of the Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”. Banning books is a violation of this right by not letting writers share what they would like to. Even if one person doesn’t like a book, it doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. It is unfair to have a book banned because of some people. Then the other people that want to read the book can’t. “If you don't like my work, that's great and I think you should absolutely write a book saying why you don't like my work - or write blog articles or write newspaper articles.” This was also said by Neil Gaiman. This advice is something I believe everyone should follow. Instead of challenging a book, just don’t read it and don’t allow family to read it. There are other ways than banning books. My life has been greatly enriched by books. Some of my favorite books have been challenged. If I had not been able to read these books, I wouldn’t be as in love with reading as I am now.

    --ORS 3rd Bordelon

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  40. The censorship of books is such an egregious concept that the world we live in must overcome to see the beauty and imagination of ourselves, others, and the earth. Nat Hentoff, an author and social activist, says, “Truly creative tellers of tales...cannot be fitted into neat, sanitized, newly `proper' molds,” when describing the censorship of books. Hentoff is saying through this quote that sterling authors are not allowed to fully express themselves through their writing, because of all the requisites in which books could be censored. When people try to ban books, they are trying to take the imagination, readers gain when reading, away because it isn’t practical. The imagination that children acquire through reading books helps kids make better decisions, explore life and life’s meaning, and helps the kids when they are older to be practical and helpful while in any given situation. Therefore, these abilities will help the future generation who will be the ones making the decisions. With this being said, if parents are still uncomfortable about letting their child read a certain book, then the parents could restrict their child of reading that book; however, they should not deny other children the constructiveness, benefit, and beauty of any book.

    -HMW 3rd Bordelon

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  41. In my opinion, book censorship in schools is a pointless and ineffective practice that should not be performed and only harms students. All people should have the freedom to read and the liberty to read the books and articles they choose to. Although some adults and parents personally feel that some books are extremely inappropriate due to vulgar language, violence, drug/alcohol usage, nudity, and other unsuitable ideas in a school environment, the banning of books is totally uncalled for. People should just keep their personal opinions to themselves and censor books in their own homes rather than get books taken off the shelves and preventing other people from learning due to personal belief. Books being taken off the shelves limits the creativity and knowledge of students. As stated in Nancy M. Bailey and Fenice B. Boyd’s article “Censorship in Three Metaphors,” the censorship of books is similar to a barbed wire fence, “[illuminating] how censors evoke barriers to free thought and speech when they block knowledge acquisition, intellectual development, as well as creative and critical thinking by calling for books to be removed from libraries, classrooms, schools, and districts.” Book censorship is compared to a deadly and dangerous item; Bailey and Boyd emphasize the need to read not just to educate a person, but also to find things out about the world through novels. The article also compares book censorship to a tightrope. The authors of the article compare the teachers to the tightrope walkers and book banning to the fall off a tightrope, claiming that “Teachers can see censorship as the frayed edge or slippery spot on their tightrope from which they can fall at any moment once the process of a book challenge is begun.” The teachers must also make the decision whether to teach the students banned books or not based on their own ethical beliefs, similar to the tightrope walker’s need to keep balance on a tightrope. The balance must be kept between the spreading of education and the limiting of inappropriate knowledge in order to create the best environment for a student. Although some books are extremely inappropriate that should not be given to children and students to read, censorship of books is mostly pointless and stops the education and knowledge of children rather than protecting them from harmful things like adults think they are doing when books are taken off the library shelves.

    -BHQ 3rd Ritter

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  43. I believe that there is a limit on what children around the age of 2 -9 should not be allowed to read things such as Fifty Shades of Gray, but we should have the ability to read anything. I think that the ability to read anything is an inherit right that all people should have. People believe that the use of censorship is to protect minors and other groups deemed to innocent and young to read materials like this and in some cases they are right. Banning however is not the right way. A parent should control what the child reads not the government. There should always be criticism, however because without it we could not grow as people and we would not see any of the problems with ourselves and with the world around us. The freedom to read is an essential part of how we can grow and learn because no one can move mountains but with enough knowledge, people and money they can move planets.
    -AKN 3RD Bordelon

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  44. I think everyone should have the freedom to read what they want. I don't like the idea of banning books just because they contain something upsetting, violent, or something someone doesn't like. Authors spend lots of time to write a book and they discover that their hard work is challenged. That makes them sad and upset, but they are not the only people that are frustrated by this. Lots of readers get upset because they like the book, but it doesn't sell anymore. It is true that some people might not like books that contain foul language, but other people might like it. If you don't like that, then don't read it. Don't ruin someone else's fun.
    Many books have meanings to them as well as the things readers dislike. People that challenge books don't look for the good things in the book. They also worry that their kids or themselves will want to be the horrible things in books like a psychopath or assassin in "Fahrenheit 451." People have to understand that by banning a book, people will want to read it even more because they want to know why it was banned. So what if it has violence, racism, religion, or the author's comments that you don't like? Another person might like that book because of those bad things so don't be a "party pooper" and let everyone has the right to read.
    -LMH 4th Bordelon

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  45. I think that a person should have freedom to read whatever books they like. In the article “Censorship in three metaphors”, the authors says that censorship is when “published or shared works, like books, films, or artwork are kept from public access.” When an author spends time working on a book, I think that it is unfair to restrict the book from anywhere. A person should be able to read what satisfies them. In some cases the arguments come from parents and religious groups. It is up to a child’s parent to tell them what books they can and can’t read. In the article it says that “no one parent or guardian has the right to demand that an entire class, school, or district should not read a particular book.” I agree with this statement because a parent or a guardian is only responsible for their children. In conclusion, I think that people should have freedom to read.

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  46. There have been multiple debates whether censorship for different types of scenes and language should be censored or allowed in books. Although there are good reasons to censor books, I believe that usage of this material should be allowed. Jean-Jacques Rousseau says that these types of books should not be allowed before the age of 12. This statement is highly opinionated and he should take speculation because the parents of a kid younger than this might want him/ her to learn early. Children under this age also have a right to learn these things if their minds have enough intelligence to allow them to understand. Within the article it says whether children should be exposed to these different usages of profanity, drugs, sex usages, and people’s errors, and I believe yes. If these children who are held back by censorship were to understand these topics, they could learn early and know to be careful of errors and drug usage. Censorship is not at all a negative thing, but based on kid’s parents censorship should not be widely used because it can contain material perfect for kids at a young age.
    -AHO 3rd Bordelon

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  47. Banning books aren’t really logical as there are other options to get around reading them. In the last five years there were more than 3500 challenges of books because they were too “offensive”. Instead of trying to get a book banned, a person can just choose not to read the book or let his or her child read the book if that is the problem occurring. One person shouldn’t be able to look at a book and choose for everyone if they can read it or not because it is just not fair at all for people that may love the book or series. The most challenged book is actually for violence and Satanism, which may go against their religion, but again there is an easy solution to all of these problems that people have with the books. The solution, again, is simply to just not read the book and that is it. The idea of banning books just doesn’t make sense because there are different sides of seeing the books and some people just should not read certain books.

    -COB 4th Bordelon

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  48. I feel that everyone should have the right or freedom to read anything a child or adult’s heart desires. I think this because what is the purpose of banning a book just for the content it contains with in the pages. It is not always like one is being forced to read the book. Like Emily Knox said in an interview while answering a question she states that a child could of simply gotten the book from a library, which is a place where no one is obligated to read a certain book or read in general. People have also challenged books such as Captain Underpants because Knox, as well, says in her interview that the booked was challenged and banned in places due to the miss behavior of kids after reading the book. I feel like this is still not a reason to ban a book because this type of book was made simply to entertain the audience, and although some kids were provoked to do inappropriate actions it is not the author’s fault for writing a piece of literature to entertain people and then be blamed for the disliked actions being done by the audience reading the book. I feel this way because the audience should be mature enough to handle the humor being done in the books, and take it out of context and cause disturbance of some kind. I hope that these few reasons clearly shows why I believe everyone should have the right to read any piece of literature someone desires.
    EJJ 3rd Bordelon


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  49. I believe banning books is unnecessary. In my opinion, everyone deserves the right to read whatever they want. The reader has an option to read. If they choose to read it, they should read with warning. Taking books off of shelves stops people from learning about life. If parents do not like the book, I do not think that the book should be taking out of a library. If they dislike it, there child should not read the book, but there thoughts should not stop someone else from reading the book. Some books do contain inappropriate content, but if someone chooses to read it, they should not challenge the book because they had the option not to read it.

    -JWS 3rd Ritter

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  50. I feel that people should have the right to read whatever book they want. First of all, in the Declaration of Independence it says, “All men are created equal.” If people are banning books, then that eliminates someone’s chance of reading the book, which is not fair. This eliminates people chances of being equal because they are unable to receive equal education. Also Emily Know said, “… reading is a powerful practice, and that all of us believes it changes lives.” I have a mutual agreement with Knox, so if reading is so powerful why would we want to ban books? Lastly knowledge is the almighty equalizer of everyone, so Nelson Mandela was right as he says, “Knowledge is power.” Also, Emily says, “what I try to show them is that it's our job to protect all knowledge, even knowledge that we ourselves disagree with.” If books keep getting banned, then we eliminate knowledge, that people deserve the right too, and we eliminate people chances of being equal.
    -GNR 1st Bordelon

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  52. When the topic of banned books comes to classrooms, it generally adds an unpleasant mood. In my opinion, children should be allowed to read whatever their parent agrees with. I had come to this conclusion because I, as a child, am allowed to read because my parents see me as mature enough to comprehend the material; I am developing mentally at a remarkable pace for my age. Another who had read an ample amount of books at a young age? Neil Gaimen is a successful, British author, and as a child he read the books from his father’s library. He had posted an article answering a series of questions. He recalls an incident when he was twelve and “It was a rollicking, slightly-bawdy spy novel.” Now this seems like an innocent book for a child to read, so what was the controversy in him reading it? Apparently, “. . . nobody really seemed to notice or mind what I was reading.” In the article entry I had read he stated that “Except possibly in Chaucer and The Bible, where you're actually discovering murder and masturbation.” When he made this connection it brought out that people see a book with sexual activity and say it’s not acceptable. But when the bible comes into conversation, the situation is suddenly different. In my opinion, a child should be able to read whatever he or she would like, as long as their parent approves. The fact that when one parent complains as has the book taken off the shelf, not only can one child not read it, but now nobody can. Where is the justice in that?

    -EGW 1st Bordelon

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  53. I do not believe in censorship because it is unfair and it violates intellectual freedom. Intellectual freedom is an individuals freedom to learn what they want without restriction. However, censorship is violating this freedom by giving people the power to take books away from not only their children, but the whole class or even school. According to "Censorship in Three Metaphors" by Fenice Boyd and Nancy Bailey, "No one parent has the right to demand that an entire classroom, school, or district should not read a particular book." Parents have the right to take books from their own children, and nobody else's. Also, I believe that everyone who gets the privilege of getting an education should be able to learn and control their own intellectual development whether it be reading a vulgar book or not. Bailey and Boyd also state that "censors evoke barriers to free thought and speech." Censorship is wrong because it limits the intellectual potential of students and it is unfair to students that want to take these crucial steps in their development but they can't because of censorship. I don't see why what someone is reading should matter to anyone but them. If they don't like the book they'll out it back on the shelf. Strangers should not have the power to keep other kids from reading what they want to read.

    -R.T.N 3rd Ritter

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  54. The discussion of banning books or not has been going on for centuries. A long time ago more people were for banning books. As more books developed, more people began to appreciate the books and not want to ban them. This is mostly a problem within schools. Personally I believe banning a book is a decision up to you and your parent. As believed by many people, one parent or guardian should not be able to decide if a whole classroom is allowed to read the book. I also think this is a plausible argument against the banning of books. The ALA believes that banning a book is removing someone’s right and freedom to read. If you tell someone they may not read a certain book because of the topic discussed or the language used that is taking away their freedom of reading. Within the article it discusses that teacher “feel that they are walking a very tenuous and dangerous tightrope” because they now have such a limited rage of books to choice without somebody believing it should be banned. From a personal experience I believe this true because my grandfather even though that the book “To Kill a Mockingbird” was racist and should be banned. My opinion is that people should not be able to ban books because it takes away freedom of reading and it puts teachers in a very hard place.

    -AEA 3rd Bordelon

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  55. Racism, horror, violence, stereotype, sexuality, homosexuality, nudity, explicit language, rape, abuse, religion, drugs, alcohol, profanity—the amount of reasons why the world would ban or challenge a book would be almost endless. Novels get challenged or banned as well as picture books; any book would be challenged or banned if the book has something a person does not want to hear. To Kill a Mockingbird is criticized because it is “too laden with profanity” and represents “institutionalized racism” (May). The book is also “filthy” and “trashy” according to Reverend Carl Hadley (May). Clearly, To Kill a Mockingbird was challenged and banned because people do not want to listen or read about the truth. People do not want to accept the truth. In England, “Beatrix Potter’s classic Tale of Peter Rabbit was banned… by the London County Council because it portrays only middle-class rabbits” (Saltman). Because Tale of Peter Rabbit had “only middle-classed rabbits”, it was banned in England (Saltman); something as simple as the class of rabbits is something people do not want to listen or read about. Of course, there are several more books that have been challenged or banned; some books are Wheels for Walking by Sandra Richmond and Lizzy’s Lion by Marie-Louise Gay. The content is not only why the books are challenged or banned. The title of a book can also be a cause to why the book was challenged or banned. Some books were challenged or banned because of the “violence, cruelty, and scary titles” (Saltman). Even a title can cause people to challenge or ban a book. In Judith Saltman's article, "Censoring the imagination: challenges to children's books", she thinks, "Intolerance of differing views in children's books easily leads to vigilante tactics, censorship, and the suppression of the imagination" (Saltman). Judith Saltman clearly states that covering up the truth does not help with anything; it suppresses creativity. Censoring books that people do not want to listen or read about hides the truth. The truth cannot be hidden forever.

    -TTN 1st Bordelon

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  56. As a student myself, I support the statement that students should be able to read anything they want and nothing should be taken off of the library shelves. Every book has its purpose. Some of the content, such as vulgar language and behavior, may be portrayed to certain people as negative, but to others, the content might not bother them in any shape or form. Nancy M. Bailey and Fenice B. Boyd, authors of “Censorship in Three Metaphors,” states that,“...most often with the idea of protecting young people from something that someone finds offensive,” which is highly agreeable. The reason why authors write about these “offensive” topics is to open doors to teach people not to make the same mistakes as the character in the book or try to help these young people to prevent and protect others by reading about these situations. Most of the stories that incorporate these events are either from personal experiences or to help those who have not gone through these experiences to have some insight. There are some organizations, such as the American Library Association, support the freedom to read. The association states that freedom of communication is what “ essential to the preservation of a free society.” This statement shows how people should have the freedom to write and read anything. If the topic is not likable to a student or parent, they could simply not read it, but it does not mean the book has to be banned because there are other students that may enjoy it or not be bothered by the topic. Some books with explicit content may be offensive to some, but others might not be affected by it and might enjoy it. So why ban books if some people may enjoy it? It is all about personal preference.

    -BS 3rd Ritter

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  57. I am in support of the freedom to read. The ability to freely pursue literature is a vital part in a child’s mental growth, learning capacity, and creative ability. When a person, regardless of the age, reads a book, they venture into another world. Here, they find themselves able to create feelings and envision the situation as they need. However, some books may conflict upon one’s opinions. This doesn’t mean that they can take away everyone’s freedom to read that book. Their opinion on a given human freedom can not and should not be able to affect others. That individual has a personal decision to make that should not be inflicted upon others. This book that they believe is improper may open a whole new world to someone else who doesn't deserve to get their right taken away.

    A kid's guardian may not acknowledge the book. This is another illustration on how books get banned. Once more, the guardian can advise their kid not to read it; they don't need to restrict everybody's kids from being able to read it. To me, when I read a book, the dialect doesn't trouble me, nor the general population. Characters in a book reflect upon certain issues in the world, and anyone who has a problem with that is afraid of the reality of that problem. It is captivating to see the world from another point of view. We can easily gain this by reading books. So, why should someone’s opinion be able to knock down everyone else’s dominos?

    -ARB 4th Bordelon

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  58. I believe that books should stay on shelves and not be banned because of a parent not wanting their child or children to not read a certain book. When those kinds of parents do this, they affect other children who they don’t even know. What gives them the right to say what other children are allowed to read? When Neil Gaiman, an author, was seven or eight he read "Harlem Horror" that had disturbed him. He said even though it had disturbed him it didn’t traumatize him for the rest of his child hood. That book along with many others is what gave him more knowledge to become a writer. He also said that pictures would be more reasonable to ban than words because pictures have easier to understand meanings. Words are different because to one person could mean one thing but to others it could mean something else. Also words can describe a weird picture that everyone could take offensive and make it to be most people would take it less offensive than others depending on how they are.

    -LJN 1st Bordelon

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  59. I don’t feel that we should censor books with views or content that we don’t agree with. Books are for everyone and if you don’t agree with the message of a particular book, that doesn’t mean that everyone will have a problem with it. If someone does not think that a certain book is appropriate for a certain age group, that doesn’t mean that they deprive people of their chance to read that novel. In the case of parents and children, parents have the obligation to set rules to what their child should read. The Paris shooting in January of this year was horrifying, this shows what happens (in very extreme cases) when people disagree with a specific book or articles content. These men didn’t have to go and kill twelve people to fight the racist cartoon. That is why we shouldn’t take the steps to ban books that we don’t agree with. If someone wants to read “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, then I think that they should be able to. If certain people don’t agree with that book’s message, then they can just stop their kids from reading it, they don’t have to make that call for all the people who might not agree with them. I feel that censorship should not continue, all that is happening is that a group of parents or other individuals are trying to strip away everyone’s chances for reading that piece of literature, and that it is completely extreme and unnecessary.
    -CMH 3rd Bordelon

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  60. In my opinion, books should not be banned. They should not be banned for the sole purpose of exploration and discovering what the real world is like. If a parent does not want its child(ren) to read a certain or certain books, they could easily censor what they can or cannot read. This makes the whole community happy because books would not have to be banned. Reading books is a right people in America have. It shouldn’t be taken away from people just because a parent complains about the content in the book. I agree that some books shouldn’t be read by students that are not of the age group but if they are and they don’t like the book, they should just put the book down.
    ACN- 3rd Ritter

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  61. I think that book censorship is wrong and should not happen. Books can be banned because of sexual content, racism, and drug use. Fahrenheit 451 and To Kill A Mockingbird are two books that were banned. To Kill A Mockingbird is a book that shows racism. Some people may not feel comfortable reading this but it is a lesson that can not be taught by a textbook. Sometimes books have to be read to get a whole understanding of the world. Even with that one book a person may not be able to understand the whole world but they will have a better grip on the understanding. If a person was to read a book about racism, like To Kill A Mockingbird, then they might just understand how hard it is for another race.

    -RJN 1st Bordelon

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  62. This particular topic is very complex and delicate. When an author writes a work of literature, they are giving up a piece of themselves to the public. Some people cannot respect this and ruin everyone else's chance of reading it, but only because a few people are offended by it. However, some authors falsify and slant facts. These people, the authors and the audience, who abuse their power, are the reason that book banning is such a controversial issue.

    -CMR 1st Bordelon

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  63. I, unlike many, believe in the censorship of select books. Many books nowadays contain references to vulgar and crude activity. Others, such as classic and less modern books, include hurtful references to race, culture, religion, etc. This can be very disturbing and upsetting to many people. While one can argue that a person who feels this way towards a book of this kind can put it down or skip that particular part, what if this person has to read it? For example, school curriculums require a student to read books that the student may not know its contents. Knowledge of these contents may remain unknown to the student until he/she actually reads it. By then, the descriptions in the book may have affected the person’s emotions. Some schools can allow the student to read a substitute book. However, this prevents the student from participating with his/her classmates in discussions, group projects, related activities, etc. This means that the student does not get the full learning opportunities that others receive. This also results in more work and struggles for the teacher, so why teach the book at all? Some books may have information and descriptions that PARENTS may not want their children to read. As Eric Manning, author of “It’s not censorship, it’s parenting!” writes, “There was a time when it would have been just as unthinkable to the librarian or the school teacher as to a parent that a book for children would have contained” subjects including references to sex, violence, drugs, nudity, and suicide. I, personally, am shocked that the previously described books are included in my school library. As stated in “You Have a Duty To ‘Ban’ Books,” it is the librarian’s job to make sure that there are no harmful books to students. While it is obviously never mandatory for a student to read a certain book in the library, I believe they should never come across it. It is quite disturbing and confusing to me that some may actually DESIRE to read such terrible books. I cannot understand why one may think a book “great,” “wonderful,” or “fabulous” while it contains such ugly, rude, and dirty writing. An author’s writing style may be creditable, but why must the author use his/her talent in such an awful way? Can they not write admirable and respectable books, while still sending similar, if not quite the same, messages and themes, instead?

    - SAH 4th Bordelon

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  64. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  65. I believe the freedom to read should be given to children of all ages. Books influence the minds of young readers, and it is unfair to prevent a child from potentially changing their views on a particular topic. This new knowledge may set a path for success for this child. Some parents don’t want their children to be exposed to certain things in the world. For instance, racism, homosexuality, violence, and sex. They think it will have a negative impact on their lives when in actuality the book may have a positive impact on their lives. Rather than make them want to do something bad, the book can prevent them by showing them what will happen to them if they do it. This is a quote from Hugh Jackman, a famous actor. "When I was 18, I read Hermann Hesse's novel Siddhartha, and that had a big effect on me . I make myself read it every decade because I get a different perspective every time. It's a beautiful book."- Hugh Jackman. Jackman has a successful career. He could have begun acting just from this one book. Apparently, it book inspired and gave him a new perspective on things. This next quote is from Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy. "I read The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins when I was about 12 and just couldn't devour the pages fast enough. I was entranced by this mystery novel. That might be what inspired my love of reading."-Alex Trebek (host of Jeopardy). This one book made a positive impact on his life. He has his love his love to read. You sholdn't limit the children from reading because a single word can spark something in a child, and that can lead them to do great things.
    -SMS Ritter 3rd

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  66. The right to read what you want is a right that should be given to everybody. While I believe that parents should have some control over what their children read, they have no authority to get books removed from the library so that no children can read it. Leave that up to the individual parents! Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and that includes authors. If a book bothers you or you disagree with the opinions of the author, don't read the book! It's as simple as that. But don't keep other people who might enjoy the book from doing so. At the very least, instead of banning books, give them warning labels or something to indicate sexual, violent, anti-religious, obscene, or otherwise offensive content. That way, potential readers will be able to tell if they want themselves or their children reading the book without having to start reading it. Often, these "objectionable" topics are real-life situations. Homosexuality, sex, and religion are just facts of life. There's really nothing wrong with them. Neil Gaiman, author of "Coraline," wasn't really restricted by his parents in terms of what he was allowed to read. He says he's glad of this and he doesn't think this caused any problems. In an interview, he talked about a man who wrote a magazine that officials deemed inappropriate. His sentence was 1,000 hours of community service, a $1,000 fine, and a probation of three years in which he was forbidden from drawing and from being within 20 yards of anyone under 18. Isn't that a bit excessive? Censorship is just plain wrong. Here in America, we have the freedom to think what we want to think. Restricting books means restricting ideas, which is pretty un-American. If we censor our books, we limit our freedom.

    -KLE 3rd Bordelon

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  67. “The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame” was said by the beloved author Oscar Wilde explaining the reason why so many people feel the necessity to ban books. Similarly true is Emily Knox’s assertion that people want “their schools and libraries to reflect their own values.” Both authors address why people censor. Neither hiding the sins of the past or painting a picture of idealism improves our society in any way. Knox also argues “that it's our job to protect all knowledge, even knowledge that we ourselves disagree with.” Our country was built on the foundation that we could say or write whatever we feel, and if we start banning books now, who’s to say what could be banned in the future. I personally feel that I shouldn’t have others’ viewpoints thrust upon me, and that I should have the freedom to choose what I want to read. In fact, I think it would be wise to let all families choose what is appropriate for themselves but not others. Ultimately this will ensure our country’s preservation of freedom of expression.
    -ENK 3rd Bordelon

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  68. I think that while censorship can help keep innocence in younger audiences, I think that for kids that are around teenage maturity should have free rein over what they read. They are old enough to know what is a “do” and what is a “don’t”, and they should be mature enough to be respectful about the subject matter.I think it’s important that they know what is going on in the world, because they will be entering adulthood soon. If they don’t know what’s happening in the world, how can they hope to keep up with the rest of the world? To quote Neil Gaiman, “Although there were definitely stories that I would bump into that I would find disturbing….But, mostly, I read whatever was around and learned whatever I could from whatever I could find. I definitely haven't been traumatised for life and I'm not entirely sure if the subversive element made things enjoyable.” Clearly, Neil was able to read more mature books and react better towards a more mature audience. And while things he may not have liked pop-ed up every now and them, that’s a fact of life: not everything will be easy or understandable the first time you come upon them.

    DEA- 3rd Bordelon

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  69. I strongly believe banning books is not appropriate in any school or curriculum. Banning books restricts creativity, limits a student’s knowledge of the world, and confines the student’s ability to see how different people respond and react to realistic circumstances.
    The censorship of books limits creativity. When a really good book or a classic is banned, teachers are stripped from having the ability to teach that lesson or way of life. Talking about or reading a book that sparks controversy in a classroom is a great teaching tool. It helps students and teachers share their opinions on different topics. This makes some children enthusiastic about reading. Teachers should be able to discuss and expand on their judgment, without having the worries of someone disagreeing or taking offense. Reading banned books also gives a reader some really good ideas to write their own stories. There have been many books that ‘borrow’ ideas from other works of literature, but the different views on the same subject are what makes it unique. Students will be inspired to write their own stories and share the way that they see or think of the world in their own way without having the fear or thought of their viewpoints and opinions being completely rejected.
    When a person reads a book, they are introduced to the world in a different circumstance. An author writes in a way that will make readers think of their own surroundings in a new perspective. Some of these books may contain profanity, sexual content, violence, racial issues, religion, etc. Students need to be able to understand the world before they enter into it on their own. Books can prepare them for this; they give students an awareness of the challenges, situations, and struggles of everyday life in the real world. Some parents do not want their children reading stories or novels with an unhappy ending. Life is full of disappointments; do not let children think everything in the world has a good outcome. Do not give them false hope. The world is full of good and bad, and children are usually only told about the good things in life. When they enter a bad situation, they are not going to have the slightest clue of how to get out of it; a magic fairy is not going to come and help them when they are stuck. Students should be able to read any book they want in order to satisfy their curiosity, address their concerns, and prepare them for life in the real world. If a parent or adult has a problem with their child reading a certain book or another piece of literature, tell the child not to read it. Just because a few people have a problem with it does not mean that everybody else has the same issue. Books are meant for anyone and everyone to read and enjoy. If there is a problem, do not read it and do not get involved in that kind of predicament. A person knows what they like and what they do not. Other people may have different preferences. Do not restrict others from reading something just because one person has a problem with it. Censorship and the banning of books is redundant.
    -RMP 3rd Bordelon

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  70. I believe that anyone should be able to pick a book off a shelf without being judged on their taste in books. Just because one person likes a book and wants to read it, doesn’t mean that everyone else has to also. If you are a parent and don’t want your child to read a certain book, tell your child not to read it. I think it is disrespectful to other people when someone challenges a book because, by doing that, the challenger is inhibiting those book lovers from reading books that they may enjoy. Parents challenging the books that students may be reading at school are not thinking of the school itself because, if the book is banned, then the teachers can’t teach important lessons and messages that the book contains. Specifically, “in Vermont in 1999…when a mother of a middle school girl asked that Yolen's book be pulled from the school library, thereby removing it--and its important lessons about prejudice, hatred, and injustice--from the reach of all the students in the middle school.” This was a unnecessary act because the mom should have requested her child not to read the book, instead of preventing the rest of the school from reading it. However, even though I support the freedom to read, I also think some censoring needs to happen to keep young children from reading books that should not be read at their age. For example, it is said that, most of the time, censoring is done to protect younger people from something that someone thinks they shouldn’t be exposed to. I completely agree with everyone having the right to read, but I think it is a good idea to find books that correspond to the students’ age group.
    -VEW 4th Bordelon

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  71. Personally, book censorship isn’t necessary and students should have the option to read any book they desire. Some books may contain explicit content, but many students are mature enough to read them. Additionally, they could learn more lessons about life from these books since they usually portray real life situations. If someone isn’t comfortable with a book, they may self censor themselves without having the book being banned for everyone. Books are also a way authors express themselves. It would be considered breaking the first amendment to censor them since these pieces of literature let someone share their thoughts or opinions, even if they’re not as likeable or popular. Books are a nice way to show creativity, so if there are people who still want to censor some books, they can simply ignore those books and read a book that suits their preference.
    ~ AYS 3rd Ritter

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  72. My view on censorship is that people should have a variety of books to read for leisure. As stated in article 3, “Censoring the imagination: challenges to children's books,” Jean-Jacques Rousseau considers that children should just see the reality of living. I concur with this statement because everyone, whether anyone approves of this or not, is eventually going to experience or hear about these questionable topics in one way, shape ,or form. Seventy one percent (71%) of challenged novels are questioned because of nudity, violence, explicit language, sexuality, and other “problems.” The numerical amount of challenges of a book has increased by 500 over the last five consecutive years. These matters are all over the world and well known in almost every age group. The article also divulges the fact that some literature pieces may be too advanced or disturbing to children. Selecting a book from a library aisle or even purchasing a book is a personal decision. On the opposing side of the matter, I also believe that there should be a limit of what a child reads. As a child learns to read, of course they would want to read a smaller, interesting, and comprehensible book with pictures. As a child matures and develops, they should be introduced into a “new world.” However, younger children should not be exposed to this material. Parents do have a position in their children’s lives. If the parent considers the book to be truly “crossing the line”, then they shouldn’t let them read it. Don’t take it off the shelves for others just because of your personal disapproval. Challenging books and prohibiting books for every ones’ use is not an intelligent decision.
    -HEB Bordelon 4th

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  73. The freedom to read whatever one wants to read is very important to the child’s development of not only education but discovering preferences, which later on helps add on to his or her personality. Parents have the right to ban their child or children from books that they deem inappropriate or wrong, but people should still have access to the book in order to form their opinions on the book. Look at to To Kill a Mockingbird for example. This book had many trials against it because, according to Booklist, it was “melodramatic” and there were even protests against this book that occurred around the 1970’s. This book became a Pulitzer Prize winner and is widely celebrated by most. This book was once, and in some places still is banned for the themes of racism, language, and violence. This book is a good example of how a once-banned book is now read by many people. Even though this was banned, people still found ways to read it. People should have the freedom to read what they please because this is how we will come to accept each other's differences not only in book preference but also eventually as people.
    - IJH 4th Bordelon

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  74. Banning books has been a controversial subject for years. Many people have argued and debated on the censorship of books based on their preferences of what deems safe for children to read. In an article, by Judith Saltman, called “Censoring the Imagination: Challenges to Children’s Books,” Saltman writes that “conservatives object to frank language and profanity, images of nudity, references to sexuality, especially homosexuality, ideas that threaten their values, such as the undermining of an authority and content believed too mature or inappropriate for children’s understanding.” The main reason writers write their books is to express themselves or their emotions. I feel that books, which are filled with the author’s time and emotion, should not be banned because of this. Many great works of literature are questioned and challenged because many people find their subjects uncomfortable or inappropriate. If parents’ or people disagree with a book’s statement, it is not just to prohibit this record of knowledge from the masses to read on their own accord. The Constitution holds the right to express you and the right to read. These inalienable rights are given to all the people of the United States. Choosing whether or not that a book should be read is a matter of the decider’s preference.

    -ALT 3rd Bordelon

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  75. I believe in the freedom to read; however, age appropriateness is an important factor to consider while reading to certain age groups. According to Erin Manning, “nearly a third of challenges made to all books [are] made, because the challengers found the materials to be too sexually explicit.” Some of these sexually explicit books are on the shelves of middle school libraries. Girls and boys as young as eleven years old have the capability to read books with graphic sexual content. The conflict between banning these books and not banning them is the parent’s opinion. Some parents allow their children to read books with sexual content, and other explicit materials, because they do not believe it will affect the student’s actions. However, other parents believe books with explicit materials are “unsuitable," and that “there are plenty of good reasons to object to books with these content elements in them, especially when such young children are the ones who have access to these books.” I believe that books that have strong sexual explicitness be taken off the shelves of the school, and no longer be purchased by the school. Keeping these books on the shelves would arouse too much conflict between student and student, or parent and teacher. There are so many other options of high end literature that have no graphic explicit materials. Again these books are in the hands of children as young as eleven years old. These children are not ready for the exposure so many books contain within their pages.
    -KRS 4th Bordelon

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  76. The subject of banned books is one I would like to speak about. I believe that people should be able to read whatever books they would like. Neil Gaiman, a great author, talks about what he believes and how we should not ban books. In the article Mr. Gaiman said do you remember any books that were banned but you still read them, did they traumatize you probably not so then why are these books banned. I agree with Mr. Gaiman. I have read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which is banned in some states, yet I am fine. It is a great book and while I understand why people would want to ban the book, it is an amazing book with a great moral story, so why not let younger students read it. So I believe that it is not right to ban books. They are amazing pieces of literature and you should be free to read any books you want. If you feel that certain books are offensive, just don’t read those titles. If you disagree and feel that books should be banned please share your reasons with me and others.
    -WEM 3rd Bordelon

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  77. Everyone has their take on banning books, but in my opinion, there should be no such thing as banned books. When someone challenges a book, it can result in no one reading the book that is challenged. I agree with Emily Knox that book banning is “much more personal”. Knox and I share the same view on the book banning topic. We both believe it has gotten more personal because a book can’t be bad because of one thing in it, it’s more complex than that. Usually a person finds a part in a book that they think shouldn’t be there and they challenge it. However, most of the time when people challenge a book, they don’t take into account that if the book gets banned people won’t have the opportunity to read the book. In my view, people who do this are self-centered and this is part of the reason people challenge books. They find one thing in a book and think it's the end of the world. Nonetheless, they do drastic things like challenging a book to make their point across. Honestly, I think if someone doesn’t like a book they should just leave it the way it is and not recommend it to others. Most people can’t do that because they feel the world should know. The result of that is a plethora of books that are banned. In the article, I read that Knox proposed a rhetorical question that asked “Why does it matter that things that you might disagree with come up in books?” I thought this was a very fine question because the way one person feels about a book can cause many others from getting the chance to read a book that could very well change a person; depending on the book. The many people have freedom of speech who live in the United States. I gather that banning books messes with that right because a person’s work of literature is banned and I foresee that the people who actually challenge books forget that.

    ~ALH 1st Bordelon

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  78. The idea of banning books is selfish to me because parents only think about their children and not others. Some parents allow their children to find out certain things, but the ones who don’t are the ones challenging books. The reasoning of banning books seems outrageous. I do not think that all books should be open to children, but some are just giving kids the reality check they need. Just because one individual dislikes something, not everyone should have those privileges taken away because of that one person. I’m not saying all children should know everything and be exposed to nudity, crude language, etc. They should also not be left clueless about these topics. There’s a difference between knowing the general fact rather than knowing too much. Some nonfiction books let young adults and children picture images happening in life. This gives them the knowledge to know the difference between the real world and their imagination. Any child that only reads innocent fiction books will not have fun in the real world. They need these real life scenarios, but they also need their imagination. Kids need that place where there are no rules, so they get this imagination from books. Banning books are unreasonable and takes away from children who actually like to read.
    -ACW 1st Bordelon

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  79. In my opinion, everyone should be given the freedom to read whatever they plegreease. However, some may think that a book is too inappropriate for young kids, and this is where censorship and banning books come into place. According to Judith Saltman, “Pressures to ban or censor books for children and young people are on the increase in schools and libraries across North America.” I do not believe that certain books should be banned just because of profanity, sexual content, and drug usage in the book. If you ask me, I’d say that if a child’s parents’ has a problem with them reading such things in a book, they should simply tell their child that they cannot read those books. It is also stated in an article by Judith Saltman that, “Intolerance of differing views in children's books easily leads to vigilante tactics, censorship and the suppression of the imagination.” In some senses, I understand where the parents are coming from but no one is forcing them, nor their kids, to read a book that they do not want to. Just because they would not like to read these books or have their kids read them, parents should not complain or try to get them banned because there are people in the country who actually enjoy reading about these topics. Overall, parents and teachers should stop worrying so much about what their kids or students are reading because as kids are exposed to these same things in the everyday world.
    -NSN 3rd Bordelon

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  80. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  81. Why would challenging or banning books even be considered as a way for people to get rid of books they believe don't send a good message? First, people tried to get rid of books that "send a bad message" by burning them. However, I believe all books were written for a purpose, and when people read books, then it can influence society as a whole. When people do not learn about their past, they are doomed to repeat it. Instead of banning books, then people can read them and learn from their mistakes and possibly correct them. The main reasons books are challenged today are because of their sexual content, offensive language, racist views, etc. This is only some of the reasons why books are challenged or banned. Also, if someone feels the interest to read a book it is there decision. If others disagree all they have to do is simply not read it or let their children read it. Taking a book away from others to read would be like killing someones creativity and imagination. When we read we open our minds to new ideas and thoughts. Like Ray Bradbury said "When you read a book, you are becoming the author." If someone decides to read "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison, maybe they can make a connection with something in their life, so they should have the choice to read it. This is why I believe everyone should have the freedom to read whatever their heart desires.

    JAG 3rd Ritter

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  82. Neil Gaiman, a famous author, was not restricted as a child of what he could or could not read. He is very successful now because of what his parents let him read. I believe that censorship for books is wrong for an appropriate age. I say appropriate age because I do not know of anyone that would let a third grader read any book with profanity, drug use, or sexual content. Neil Gaiman asks if the content in the books would scar you for life or if they added an exciting subtext to everything. Children are eventually going to be exposed to the world sooner or later, so might as well let them know what’s out there before they truly become scarred and hurt. Parents’ can make their decisions about what their child can or cannot read, but they should not have a say of what the rest of the children should or should not read.
    SNS, Bordelon, 1st Period

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  83. I think that students should have the right to read. Books are made for the benefits of children most of the time. Sure, the book has to be appropriate enough for the children. Parents can have their say, but should keep that for their child only. Honestly, parents have no right over what other children can read. Different parents raise their child in ways that vary. Not everyone is alike and agrees on how children should be raised. No, I don't think censorship should be allowed at all. If someone has a problem with certain books being at the library, then they just have to deal with the books' presence. As long as books don't mess with "children's moral, political and social perceptions," there really shouldn't be a problem. Certain books can make people or children view the world in a different perspective. I'm pretty sure at least most people have gone through that experience. When the book is supernatural, the author is just an imaginative person. You can't get mad because he/she has imagination and you don't. Kids that are under the age of 11 still have a good imagination.. Their minds are creative. There's a more likely chance of a child acting as if they had powers at such a young age. Once again, most people have gone through that. What if children want to become writers? How can they be writers without imagination? Writer are naturally creative. They don't usually write a regular non-fiction book. Non-fiction books are not that interesting. Fiction, drama, action, and etc. are really great books. Of course, the information in the books isn't going to always be true, but people like how authors think. For instance, lots of people like the "Hunger Games" movies. The movies originally came from books. Would you ban the book? Even though the series is about killing people for food and justice, why do "you" like the books. Some of the stuff that parents read aren't even appropriate for them either. How would "you" feel if your TV only played "Discovery Channel?" Not being able to see or read the things that make you happy is sad. So don't ban books from libraries. Banning books is completely rude and not fair.

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  84. The discussion of banning books or not has been going on for centuries. A long time ago more people were for banning books. As more books developed, more people began to appreciate the books and not want to ban them. This is mostly a problem within schools. Personally I believe banning a book is a decision up to you and your parent. As believed by many people, one parent or guardian should not be able to decide if a whole classroom is allowed to read the book. I also think this is a plausible argument against the banning of books. The ALA believes that banning a book is removing someone’s right and freedom to read. If you tell someone they may not read a certain book because of the topic discussed or the language used that is taking away their freedom of reading. Within the article it discusses that teacher “feel that they are walking a very tenuous and dangerous tightrope” because they now have such a limited rage of books to choice without somebody believing it should be banned. From a personal experience I believe this true because my grandfather even though that the book “To Kill a Mockingbird” was racist and should be banned. My opinion is that people should not be able to ban books because it takes away freedom of reading and it puts teachers in a very hard place.

    -AEA 3rd Bordelon

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  85. As American citizens, we are given the freedom of speech and the freedom of press. Everyone learns these facts, and supports them, so why are we questioning the freedom of writing? In Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, there is a cold future shown where books are burned. The harsh irony is that many people disagree with this novel because of the liberal themes, and try to ban a book about the negative effects of banning books. Even worse, the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, was challenged in many places because people were uncomfortable with seeing their own jarring reflection and not recognizing it. The people of Maycomb, a fictional Alabama town that is the setting for To Kill a Mockingbird, weren’t necessarily bad people, but most shared a common fault: racism. People thought that the book was a “filthy, trashy” novel, and insisted it was wrong, so they took the course of action that should be condoned. They decided to ban it, make it sound revolting. Banning books is just one step closer to us losing the rights that we are so proud to call ours. It’s even been stated by many “The best way to make sure something is read is to ban it.” EG Bordelon 3rd

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  86. I do not feel that books should be banned. If you do not agree that children at a younger age should not be reading a book, that's a different story. Elementary school children should not be reading some of the books that we read in eight grades simply because they will not understand the content. For example, if a child in 3rd grade reads TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD they will not understand the situation. A student in middle or high school will understand what is happening better. Some books do have content that is not appropriate for younger kids but, as young adults, we should read these books for a learning opportunity. Books that are on our level should not be banned. If a student or their parent does not like a book that we read, they should not take away other students right to read and enjoy a book. A parent, who truly feels that their child should not read a book because of the sexual content or the language, should not let their child read it. They need to let other students and their parents decide if they should be reading it. One concerned parent should not say what the whole class needs to do because they are uncomfortable with their child reading content for adults. Banning books does not solve anything because other students can still find a way to get a copy in their hands. Banning books is just unnecessary. You should decide what you’re reading content level is, not someone else.

    -SNK 3rd Ritter

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  87. I believe that parents overreact when it comes to inappropriate books. If the parents chose for their child not to read a book, the parent should not take the book of the shelfs. I understand that parents want to keep their child away from books “by restriction or removal from libraries.” There is a way to keep children away from certain books without taking it off the shelves. They should have a record of children whose parents do not want them reading certain types of books in libraries. The librarian then would not let certain children checkout unsuitable books on the shelves. It would let other children, who have permission from their parents, read any book of their choice. “No… parent… has the right to demand that an entire school… should not read a particular book.” It would be unfair for other parents who want their child to read books, if it has already been taken off the shelves. I should encourage parents to take some action to help their child read or not read unpleasant books, but to keep them on the shelves. AD 3rd Bordelon

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  88. A lot of people believe that censorship in concerns to books is good. However, I don’t agree. Books are written for a reason. The author writes them in order to send a message that they believe needs to heard. Whether or not you agree with that message is up to you, as the reader. As a parent, you have the authority to tell your child that they can’t read a certain type of book, but you do not have the power to stop someone else’s child from reading it. I also believe that self-censorship is very important. If you are offended by a book, then you should just put it down and stop reading it. More people should realize that just making someone take a book out of a library because it has some bad themes, doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be a thousand like it.
    SLG 4th Bordelon

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  89. Nearly all literature in education has suffered from criticism, some even going as far as to demanding a book be banned. Banning a book doesn’t just affect the school your child is going to, but all schools in the parish and every student in them. People believe that their children should not be exposed to the words and racism in books like TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Some people even ban books like HARRY POTTER for reason’s unknown to me. Doing this to children only prolongs the inevitable: the realization that the world is a cruel place. Exposing your children to this early on can help them make better decisions and be more prepared for anything they might see in life. Novels are usually banned because they make readers discomfort when talking about topics like brutality or rape. They make you stop and say “why would he do that?” Books like those make children, teens, or even adults build character and develop morals that will guide them through life. Literature allows children to understand their own lives through the minds of others. Literature can affect the reader’s choices, and greatly influence the person they become: for better or for worse.
    -- ACP 3rd Period Bordelon

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  90. Book censorship is wrong in many different cases. In fact, it is not right in any case at all. When an author writes a book, what they write is what they want the reader to see. It is their voice, in a way. If the work is changed or censored in any way, their voice is being destroyed. The work being censored does not only affect the artist, but it also affects other readers. If one has a problem with something, they just have to simply avoid it. They just have to not let the work in their home or in the hands of their children. This solution will work for everyone. In conclusion, book censorship is wrong. Just because one has a problem with something doesn’t mean they have to ruin the experience for everyone else. It completely disobeys the first amendment.
    -CJF 1st Bordelon

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  91. I think that books should not be banned for many reasons. One of the reasons that books should not be banned is because some pieces of literature teach can prepare students about what they might deal with in life. Also, since they might deal with those situations, they will know how to deal with it. According to the National Coalition Against Censorship, "if schools narrow to only the least controversial-and...least relevant material. It would hardly address students’ real concerns, satisfy their curiosity, or prepare them for life." When people want to challenge a book, it is usually due to personal issues. Andrew Richard Albanese says, "A kid will bring home a book, often as part of either a curriculum or because one of the kids has gotten it from the library, and the parents will take a look at the book, and they'll be upset about something they find in it" I understand why the parents react like this because they do not want their child to read about subjects that are not appropriate for them. If a great piece of work is censored, then no one can see it and enjoy it. The next time you read a book and you are offended by it, don't make a big deal about it, just ignore it and move on.
    Originally posted on October 1 HTN 1st Bordelon

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  92. I believe that banning books from schools is wrong. This is why children today use no imagination and activities outside of the limited amount in schools. This is why schools today have very little imagination in them. Yes some books are very inappropriate for children to read. In our library to read certain books, you must have parental permission. This is because of language or sexual indication in books. Not all books are like this though, some books with a few bad words are very good for children to read. It is not right for a student, parent or teacher to take away a child's right of imagination. William Faulkner once said "a writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, and supply the lack of others." For the children who want to be writers, it is important for them to be exposed to other writings no matter what kind. If children are deprived of certain books because of language they will be exposed to anyway they will have a loss of creative energy. "Our data shows that by the time children interschool they had a working vocabulary of 30 to 40 offensive words." (Timothy Jar and Kristin Janschewitz, physiological scientists) Even if children don't know they don't know the meaning the will still hear these words anyway. Do not get this confused. This is not saying all children will cuss and have "potty-mouths" but they will know words. What difference does it make if they read one or two? Now sexual content is not something small children should encounter but the world around them will eventually introduce them to it. I understand guarding against it for a while, but they are going to grow up and discover it for themselves. Banning books is not right, every child and parent should be able to set that boundary themselves, as a family or unit. Without imagination what would this world be?

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  93. I think, like many others, that their should be no book censorship. People should be able to read whatever book they desire. In the last five years, there has been 3,500 attempts to censor certain books. However, there should be some sort of limit. For example, in an elementary school there would not be any sexual books in the library. At least I hope so.


    Parents should not have control to make a book censored or banned. If a mother or father does not want their child reading a book just for religious reasons, then they should just tell their child not to read it. The parent should not go straight to the school board and try to get the book out of school. It’s ridiculous how far someone would go to do something so stupid.



    -BMG 4th Bordelon

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  94. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  95. "I believe it is wrong to censor books.Parents, minorities or anyone that has a certain belief should not keep others or their children from reading works of art because of their ideals. This is an example of oppressing every author's right of expression. To Kill a Mockingbird depicts many realities, such as a black man's word against a white's, that many people as the article stated, "it told them something about American society that they did not want to hear." Although in some cases it seemed to be a majority vote of both conservative and liberal opinions against the presence of To Kill a Mockingbird in public libraries or school curriculum, censorship is unfair to those who want to read this work." -JRC 3rd Ritter

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  96. I like to look at both sides of the story. I think that book censorship is necessary in elementary libraries, but pointless for any age above that. If kids do not read about mature topics at a young age, they will not have to worry about any of the bad things in life. Most children in elementary school have not yet learned about the flaws of people, and I do not think they should. The parents of these kids should have control over what the kids read at a young age because the adults usually do not want their kid to know really bad things. I understand a totally support this side of censorship; however, I think that by middle school kids are going to learn bad things from people. They need to read books to know what not to do with their lives. Taking away books with explicit content could be bad for a child. If a kid is going through something bad and decides to resort to a bad method of handling things (drugs, alcohol, etc.), then maybe a book can show them the bad result of what can happen and convince them to stop. Banning books from all libraries is just a ridiculous thought to me, but I can understand why some people do it. I am glad some people write about the topics they do because it educates the readers. Not everyone has to read these certain books. I just think censorship is a good and bad thing for everyone.

    --ESL 3rd Ritter

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  97. I do not think children should be shielded from reading books just because they may be profane and vulgar. Many people believe books that contain profanity do not belong in school libraries or in children's hands. Even though many people support banning of books, just as many people oppose the idea of censorship. If students are shielded by such well written literature like "To Kill a Mockingbird," then they may never understand symbolism as well as those who have read it. "To Kill a Mockingbird" may be profain, but the profanity used is just used to imply how heavily racism affected the south and its citizens in the 1930's. The book has good meaning but it seems as if angry people who are too focused on the words it uses are blind to its true meaning. When Neil Gaimen was an adolescent and in school, a book was confiscated from him because his school did not agree with him reading the book. Even thought the school cared about what he reads, his parents did not. They were in favor, as am I, for freedom to read. I my conclusion, I do not believe people should be able to stop kids that are not their own from reading a book they feel they want to read. -RJD Bordelon 4th

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  98. I believe that books should not be banned. Everyone should have the freedom to read what they want to read. If someone does not like a book don't take the privilege way from everyone, just don't read it. If a book has profanity, sex, drugs, antigovernment, propaganda etc. and someone doesn’t like it they should just not read it. People should not be punished for what they wrote. The freedom to write also gives the freedom to read too. A woman was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for drawing a cartoon depicting politicians in favor of a Bill who would roll back women's rights in Iran with animal heads. She had written something and she was put in prison for thoughts on politics. This is wrong in so many ways. Everyone should have the freedom to read any book they want no matter the case.
    -EPB 4th Bordelon

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  99. Eventhough sometimes books may contain content that parents find inappropriate books should not be banned. In the the article “It’s not censorship, its parenting!” the American Library Association(ALA) states that a parent “only has the right to censor or control what his own children read”. I agree with this because parents must eventually teach their children about those things they are trying to protect them from so why not let them learn about the subject on their own? The children will eventually learn about those subjects and they will encounter people who are socially different or have had experiences related those things such as sex, drug abuse, rape, and homosexuality.
    Also parents should learn and teach their children to respect and try to understand others and them believes. For example, according to the Harris Poll many people believed children should not have access to the Koran, Torah, Talmud, or the Bible. Parents should recognize the diversity of our society and respect the believes of others as we would want them to respect us. People may not believe in somethings in certain religions but they and children should be aware that they are simply people who have different cultures. Another important thing is that parents should teach their children to respect transgender people and homosexuals. Transgenders and homosexuals are human just like us who have simply done something different from most of the population. We as human beings, should learn to respect others and their believes and we should learn to accept that there are books which have explicit content but as long as the children are guided to understand the books there shouldn’t any problem.
    -YEF 2th Bordelon

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