Censorship In Schools Essay

Decent Essays
Ever since the world has been in existence, humans have felt a need to dictate and set restrictions on what the populace can see and hear. From parents to kids and even governments to citizens, they all want to decide what is best. Is it up to government or other organizations to censor things? Who is to say what is right and wrong? These are the questions that should be considered when dealing with censorship. Censorship is the suppression of news, books, or anything of the sort that are assessed as objectionable, politically inappropriate, or a threat to safety (Oxford, 1998). The main debate on censorship is the effects it has on our young minds. Countless schools are forced into removing books that are deemed unfit for a school environment. …show more content…
In the past five years, America's censorship of books in public schools has dramatically increased (Hechinger, 1984). The American Heritage Dictionary was even removed because it contained too many "dirty words". Censors are making strong claims like: "The schools need more outside controls; literature is radical; a book has just one meaning that is either moral or immoral, and should be accepted or rejected on that basis; part of a book is enough, and any undesirable part should be kept from the student" (Hechinger, 1984). Remarks like these are being put out without anyone challenging them. Many censorship groups are trying to get rid of books dealing with women's rights, civil liberties, and the evils of slavery (Hechinger, 1984). School boards have been coercing teachers into denying students access to books labeled as offensive (NCTE, 2009). Lately, the pressure to censor these types of books have increased, but the battle over censorship still continues. Most of the classics, typically used to teach in English classrooms, have been labeled as having obscene, heretical, or subversive elements (NCTE, 2009). Modern works are described as “filthy,” “un-American,” “overly realistic,” and “anti-war.” Literature addressing racial and ethnic minorities are seen as "controversial" or "objectionable"(NCTE, 2009). It is not just books being censored, but magazines and …show more content…
Since the school boards are now so focused on eradicating controversial material, they are unaware of the deprivation occurring. A prime example of this is what happened to high school English teacher Peter Brown Hoffmeister. He acquired the book, The Glass Castle, for his English 9 class to read and another teacher was skeptical on his choice, stating that the material was too heavy for teens to read (Hoffmeister, 2016). Hoffmeister did not want to argue so he let it go, but he stated the reasons on why some people believe book censorship is important in high school: our young need to be protected, dark material is too hard for teens to handle, and that once the material is complex, teens will not understand it (Hoffmeister, 2016). He then pointed out valid reasons to why teens should be challenged by the books they read in high school. If at 18 you are allowed to vote, you should be exposed to controversial topics and learn to think for yourself and debate the topics of discussion (Hoffmeister, 2016). That is what responsible voters do. Not to mention, it is extremely fascistic trying to "protect" the teens from what they are reading. Old European dictators also felt the need to protect their people by banning them from reading dangerous ideas (Hoffmeister, 2016). Teens should be able to read

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