Banned Books Discussion

Complete the Banned Books Webquest on the library page before answering this poll.

Is it ever justified to ban a book?  Why or why not?  While certain oppressive governments censor what their citizens can read, most challenges to books today occur at the local community or school district level. The most common reasons for challenging a book are offensive language, sexual content, and inappropriate subjects for minors. Those in favor of banning books for minors say that school administrators and librarians have the responsibility of protecting their students from inappropriate and controversial materials. Those opposed to book banning in schools and public libraries argue that it is up to individual students and their parents to determine what is appropriate reading material. What do you think?

Step #1: Answer the poll below.

 

Step #2: Write a comment below. Be sure to make your arguments with solid points or evidence, and anticipate the counterargument (e.g. “While some people may say…” or “Though it is true that…”)

Step #3: Respond to at least ONE other student’s post.

6 Responses to Banned Books Discussion

  1. Kate L. says:

    No, it is not justified to ban books because they can help expose readers to the real world. Although many books contain topics that may cause readers to be uncomfortable, it is crucial for these topics to be exposed and addressed. Life is not always censored and perfect, thus it is better for high school students to be knowledgeable than ignorant. Yet in Tappan Zee High School, Jeff Smith’s Bone series was banned due to its content of political viewpoint, violence, and racism. Reading books that contain controversial content will only help readers realize that everyone’s background is different, which would contribute to establishing respect and peace among people. This is especially significant since students have a direct impact on the future.
    While some may believe that banning books in schools does not restrict students from reading them on their own time, most high school students do not have the time to read; as many students are sleep deprived. Moreover, a school should not be a place where students are reticent, but a place where they can elaborate on their ideas. Whether they are inspired by the books they read or the information they learn.

  2. Connor H. says:

    It is not justified to ban a book because it is the writers story, it belongs to them. We have the 1st amendment for this reason to protect people’s voice. If for any reason whatsoever a book bothers you, just don’t read it.

    • Connor H. says:

      (Continued) Although others might say that a certain book is unethical and/or inappropriate, I don’t care, it’s a story just don’t read it and leave me alone. People can’t be offended by every little thing or they won’t get anywhere. If something bothers you just go away.

    • Castor F says:

      I agree that if you don’t like a book, just don’t read it! There is no reason to ban it when it can possibly benefit other people.

  3. Castor F says:

    No, I think it is not justified to ban books. I think that because no matter what violence, profanity, drugs, sex, etc. are in the book, they are there for the reason. The author is trying to get a message across. I understand why some parents don’t want their child exposed to things like that, but do they realize that’s life. All the profanity used in the book are taken from real life and little do they know their child is probably exposed to it already everyday. What difference does it make?

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