The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School

Mia Hennequin

Should Banned Books Have a Place in Schools?

March 8, 2023

No, Banned Books Do Not Have a Place in Schools

  No. There are reasons for the banning of potentially disruptive curriculum. The school board does it for the safety and well-being of the people in their county. The banning of books doesn’t protect students from learning the truth about history, as there are plenty of unbanned books that explain history from many different perspectives and viewpoints. 

   With that, a lack of awareness is rooted in multiple factors, not solely because someone did not read a certain book. Students are able to find virtually anything about the reality of the world online or on the news: being selective about the curriculum covered in schools won’t prohibit students from discovering these topics and ideas. Students should not be taught certain topics that may harm them until they are older. High school students have a larger understanding and perspective than elementary-aged students, so there should be restrictions on what younger children are learning. For example, why would The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, which depicts child sexual abuse, be taught to elementary children? This topic should not be introduced to a young child without the consent of a parent. 

   Not everything belongs in a lesson taught to students in school, and books that our elected officials have banned should stay banned. 

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Yes, Banned Books Should Be Allowed in Schools

   Yes. Schools revoking books that are labeled “controversial” shields children from the truth about history and from gaining a true understanding of English, as well as hiding them from the reality and indifferences of the world, making students blind to possible views and morals that can progress into discussions and arguments, and even war. Books aren’t just literature that only a few can understand, they are knowledge and power. In a world so focused on capitalism and separation between sexes, books create new levels of consciousness, of action, and behavior. 

   They bring to light the undesirable possibilities of what can happen if society continues in its current form, and prevent students from living in ignorance. I understand that creating a pleasant environment for students is a top priority for schools, but when a student is advancing grade levels, their English curriculum should gradually intensify and become less guided by rules. It isn’t necessarily about the book itself, but the substance and meaning behind the text that many choose to ignore and ban. 

   The books being banned are the ones that, in reality, should be gaining more attention, such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. Erasing this genre of “controversial” books only shelters students and causes them to lack awareness and empathy regarding societal struggles that individuals face day to day . It may be difficult to digest something the stomach isn’t used to, but even literary works like Othello, which talks about racism and normalizes racial slurs, should be brought to discussion; we can not pick and choose. 

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