Banned Books: Are they evil?

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Banned Books: Are they evil?

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Tiffany Brauckman | Contributing Writer

Harry Potter, The Jungle Book, The Lord of the Rings, My Sister’s Keeper, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower have been banned throughout the years.

Students of all ages around the country read books that someone has tried to censor. Censorship can happen because of indecent language, inappropriate content for a specific age group, or content that does not agree with a particular religion.

Historically, most banned books have been censored for particular age groups and middle school kids are the most common audience this happens to. Joanna Frecking-Smith, Media Specialist at Storm Lake Middle School, had a display in September to teach the students about book censorship because nationally September is banned books month.

With the display, Mrs. Frecking-Smith had books out on a table with information on censored literature. This information included why the book was banned, and listed reasons why someone might want to challenge it. She did have some students who didn’t understand the display.

“I did have a couple of students come up and say, ‘Mrs. Frecking-Smith why are you banning these books from us?’ So I had to explain to them no I’m not banning them from you. We want you to read these books. We are just creating awareness to let you know some people don’t want you to read these books, but that you really should.”

Frecking-Smith then explained she wants students to read whatever they want to read.

The First Amendment allows American citizens to express themselves freely through speech, religion, assembly, petition, and press. An author has the freedom to write almost anything they want and share it with the public.

Jodie Morin, the Library Director at Buena Vista University said, “I don’t think any one person should make that decision for the rest of society. If people choose themselves not to read or watch something, that is fine. We all have our own decision.”

Many students read censored publications throughout their education. This year the BVU freshmen and transfer student seminar book is on the banned list. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian was banned in March 2015. According to bannedbooksweek.org, the Sherman Alexia book was prohibited from the school district in Waterloo, Iowa. A middle school parent had made complaints about the sexuality and profanity from the book.

In 2014, out of 311 books on the yearly banned list, The American Library Association listed at the top The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, The Catcher in the Rye, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are books that are from the banned list. These books have been taught in many education levels with respect.

Students need to learn the importance of their freedom of reading these books along with the right for the author to publish their materials.

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Graphic by Justice Gage