June 5 2015
The suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectinable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, autorities or other groups or institutions.
Book censorship: The removal of a book from the shelf of a library.
“Almost every country places some restrictions on what may be published, although the emphasis and the degree of control differ from country to country and at different periods.”
-A.H. McLintock, An Encyclopedia of New Zealand: Censorship of Books
A lot of parents monitor their children's activities and stop them from reading inappropriate things. Some of the most famous books that have been banned from schools over the years are: Hamlet, Scarlet Letter and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Book censorship seems to have appeared in the early 19th century. Many books were burned in public.
In 1982, the United States Supreme Court made it's decision in Island Trees Union Free School District no. 26 versus Pico, a case in which students and parents wanted the school board to remove certain books from it's library. Some of the books were apparently considered anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Semitic. The Court's judgement finally ruled in the school's favor as the judge thought that students should have the right to read and be exposed to controversial thougths. No parent wants their child to grow up using bad language. Therefore, books in schools should be age appropriate and separated in different grade levels. I don't think controversial or offensive books should be taught in schools.
In 1949, “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens was challenged in New York because it had antisemitic views but I have read the book and didn't see anything like that at all. Maybe it was another edition. The Catolic Church has banned many books since 1559 and only stopped in 1966.
Literature is definetely important and should be introduced to a child at a young age. Books should not be censored just because parents don't trust that their kids are mature enough to differentiate fiction from real life. Censorship might leave holes in children's education. “Intellectual freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction”. Education should not be feared. Teachers should choose the books they use wisely. Many textbooks were censored. The reporting of military atrocities is extremely controversial especially the Armenian Genocide and the Vietnam War.
Judy Blume is one of the most frequently censored authors in America. She has been called the “Queen of Censorship”. She had five books on the American Library Association's top 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990-2000.
I am against banning books because it is mostly about control and fear. People who censor books are afraid of people who have different beliefs and ideas than their own. Literary censorship is sad and should not be so frequent in todays society. There are may organizations against censorship:
-The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC)
-The National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association (NCTE/IRA)
-The National Education Association (NEA)