The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

The Tack Online

Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!

Katelyn Bohaty, Contributing Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Banning books are a thing of the past correct? Well, that’s not the case actually. There have been five major cases in the court system alone and many more banned books that never made it to court. A lot of books that have been banned were probably read by most of us in English class. According to Banned Books Week article, Banned Books That Shaped America, some of the banned books were, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, Gone with the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, and Moby-Dick. Most of these stories are seen as classics by us and whether or not we wanted to read them we probably have heard of them at least. The main reasons most of these books were banned was because they conflicted with community values of profanity, sexual content, and language.

At my high school we read a lot of the books that were banned above. The way we handled reading these books that used stronger language was we talked about what was happening during the time the book was written. We discussed why the author might have used the language they choose to use and what is the meaning behind the words. My teachers made sure we understood why the author chose a strong word to use like the n-word instead of another more culturally acceptable word.

If we were reading the book out loud in class and there was a word we did not feel comfortable reading then we were not forced to read them. However, if we decided to read the word we had to understand that we should not repeat those words outside of class or in daily speech. My teachers focused heavily on respecting everyone and also understand that context of words are important and should not be suppressed or banned. We also must remember that we need to be mature enough to know how to filter our language depending on the context of the conversation.

The first amendment gives us the right to freedom of speech and although I went to a private school they still allowed us to practice this right. Public schools are held to a higher degree of protected student rights and one of the more recent banned books case was back in 2003. According to Americans United case of Counts v. Cedarville School District, last updated on October 24, 2011, “the Cedarville School Board voted 3-2 to remove all of the books from the Harry Potter series from the open shelves of the public school libraries”. If students wanted to access the Harry Potter series they had to have signed permission slips from their parents.

The school banned the books because the school district thought the books exposed the students to witchcraft. Later in the Americans United article, “on April 22, 2003, the judge order the books returned to the library shelves” the school district complied and the Harry Potter series was back on the shelves for anyone to read. Although this case was almost 15 years ago does not mean that banning books have been stopped. It means that either cases are not being fought in the courts or people’s rights are being suppressed without their knowledge of the first amendment. Understanding your rights is important for everyone.

I have a banned books display set up in the library at the square desk in the middle of the first floor. The display will be up by Monday, December 4th and the covers will stay on the books until Thursday, December 7th. On Friday December 8th the covers will be removed and the display will remain up until Sunday, December 10th. You will know it is my display because the books’ covers have been hidden and have a black cover over them. Some of the books mentioned above are on display and my challenge to you is to figure out which book was banned just by reading the reason on the cover. When you think you have it figured out open up the book and see if you were correct. Some of the books might surprise you.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!

    Opinion

    Where Should I Study?

  • Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!

    Opinion

    Basketball Super Fan Urges Students to Show for the Team (and for the Dough)

  • Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!

    Opinion

    Tips for Improving Your Own Cybersecurity

  • Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!

    Opinion

    How to Stay Healthy in College

  • Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!

    Opinion

    Justice League: Warner Bros, We Need To Talk. 

  • Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!

    Opinion

    The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Is Taken to a New Level

  • Opinion

    Thanksgiving Break Editorial Cartoon

  • Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!

    Opinion

    BVU’s President Creates Strong Twitter Presence

  • Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!

    Opinion

    No more potato ole’s: Taco John’s closes in Storm Lake

  • Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!

    Opinion

    Disney Channel Character Comes Out as Gay in Season Premiere

The Student News Site of Buena Vista University
Congratulations! You’ve been Banned!