Book banning should be banned

 By Kate Kelley


Book banning isn’t a new idea. The first book ban took place in 1650, and the battle has been going on ever since. Crowder celebrates Book Banning Week by setting up an annual display of books that have been challenged or banned.

bookbanning ‘“If you don’t like the content in a book, don’t read it. If you don’t want your child to read a book, take it away. But you do not have the right to decide ‘appropriateness’ for everyone,”’ –  Ellen Hopkins, “Censorship Should Not Be Allowed”, 2014

“Book banning limits our informational freedom,” said Eric Deatherage, library director at the Neosho Crowder College campus. “Essentially, it’s telling someone else what to think- not by telling them that they are wrong, but by not providing them with access to information.”

The American Library Association (ALA) released a list of the top ten banned books for 2013 with the following titles: Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey; The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison; The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie; Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James; The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins; Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone; Looking for Alaska, by John Green; The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky; Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya; Bone (series), by Jeff Smith. Some of these titles may come as more of a surprise than others, but all of these books were condemned for either “offensive language” or “sexually explicit, violent, or unsuitable age group” material. These challenges can be raised in classrooms, public libraries, academic libraries, and even in college classes.

The challenges raised are mainly due to parents’ concerns regarding what their children are being exposed to in their reading. However, children will likely be exposed to at least one, if not all of the elements parents are sheltering them from.

“For democratic societies such as the United States, book banning contradicts core beliefs. The First Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits Congress from making laws that impinge on the freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Americans have struggled with defining these parameters since their adoption” as stated in “Book Banning,” an article on Opposing Viewpoints website.

The article went on to say that, “Although book banning continues, the arena of controversy has moved from the national to the local level. The most common challenges today occur in school libraries and classrooms. Most of the battles are fought at the school board level, but some cases have been legally challenged and several have made it to the Supreme Court.”

“In the Crowder mission statement we are developing literate, learning students…and our students are being prepared to lead this country through the next generation or two. I think that we have particular freedoms in this country, and if people put those freedoms on the line we’re taking a chance on the future. To put yourself into a situation where you’re allowing someone else to tell you what to think…that’s not a place where we want society to be,” said Deatherage.