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BVTV News (April 23, 2024)
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May 24, 2024
Broken branches, broken legacy
Broken branches, broken legacy
May 16, 2024
Joan Curbow: The ultimate Beaver
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May 3, 2024
Drawing Disney with Alex Maher
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April 26, 2024

Banned Books

Banned+Books

Growing up, everyone has memories of books in some way. For me, I remember everything from my mom reading to me and my siblings every night to when I first started to read books by myself. There were many nights I would read, thinking it would help me fall asleep. Then, after reading into the late hours of the night, I would be thinking to myself, “Just one more chapter,” for the fourth time, even though it was a school night. However, I do not know if I ever would have fallen in love with reading like I did if I had been restricted by my parents or school telling me what books I could or could not read based on theirs or others’ beliefs.

When it comes to banning books, or book censorship, there are a lot of different reasons why it may happen to certain books:

“Sexual Content (92.5%), Offensive Language (61.5%), Unsuited to Age Group (49%), Religious Viewpoint (26%), LGBTQIA+ Content (23.5%), Violence (19%), Racism (16.5%), Use of Illegal Substances (12.5), “Anti-family” Content (7%), and Political Viewpoint (6.5%),”  

While some of these things, like language and sexual content, are understandable in certain age ranges, I feel like it is ridiculous for a school district to ban a book for any of these reasons once you hit the eighth grade. The reason I feel this way is that students are approaching high school and a lot of these things can be encountered in a high school environment. There will be people of different races, religions, sexual orientations and different political views. Youth may deal with substance abuse under peer pressure. They can experience violence, fights and much more. Banning these books from students makes no sense since they are able to learn how to handle different situations from these stories. Removing these books because you do not like them is not helping today’s youth; it is only hurting them.

One thing on this list of reasons that I do not understand at all is banning books that include racism. Racism is a thing that has been synonymous with America as a country for years, and it is something people still deal with today. Books with this topic included can be used as a way to educate people about racism and the harm it has caused in the past and continues to do to society today. I think books like these are necessary for America to grow in the right direction. One book that I read as an assignment in high school, and I am sure a lot of people did, wasTo Kill a Mockingbird.” This book showed me a lot about America in the past and how they treated people of color. In my opinion, it is something all students need to learn because it shows how far we have come from then, but it can also shine some light on how far we still must go.

Recently, in the state of Iowa, a new law has been put into place restricting different books that can be in school libraries. The new law states that all books that depict sexual acts must be removed from schools. As I stated earlier, I can understand why you would want books with sexual acts not available for certain age groups, but I feel like they should leave these books available for students once they get to eighth grade and up because these are things that they deal with in real life as they get into high school.

“Most of the books contain LGBTQ content and removing them is an attempt to erase the LGBTQ community,” 

As I said earlier, people with different sexual orientations exist in high schools, so why are we removing books that include these relationships? Removing those books is not going to stop kids from having LGBTQ people in their lives. So, I do not understand the point of banning these books when everyone will have experiences with people in the LGBTQ community sometime in their life. To me, it feels like those who are trying to ban books with LGBTQ content are attempting to push the standard of “normal” as being a heterosexual relationship. Unfortunately, they are too ignorant to understand that there is no need to remove these books because sexual orientations will not change based on a character in a book.

One book that schools in Iowa will not ban from schools is the Bible. I find this interesting because they will ban other books for racism and sexual content, yet regarding the Bible, they do not think this book should be banned. Throughout the Bible, there are examples of racism and sexual content. How is this book okay to be in schools for students to read, but others are not? The hypocrisy of people wanting to ban books lies heavily in their religious beliefs. Why is it okay for them to push their beliefs on others? I have a simple answer for that: it is not. Yet, it is happening all across our country.

Another example of where Christian ideologies have been used to ban books is the popular “Harry Potter” series. Strict Christian groups want this book banned because of the topic of witchcraft in the books, even though it is one of the most popular book series of all time. Harry Potter is a series that people of all ages have enjoyed. It revolves around young witches and wizards growing up and learning how to use their powers. In my opinion, banning these books is absolutely ridiculous. As someone who found this series as a child and has reread it as an adult, it is a story that all who enjoy fantasy stories should read. It is a world that is so enjoyable and allows everyone to feel like they are a part of the story. Banning these books from young people is robbing them of a story that could leave an impact on them for a lifetime.

Another reason I feel like banning these books is not okay is because we still teach students Greek mythology. In Greek mythology, there is magic, monsters and gods, and we allow that. Yet, we restrict kids from reading a fiction book series because the main characters are witches and wizards, which is something that I will never understand. I feel like both should be allowed because they are stories that kids can fall in love with, and they will enjoy them for the rest of their lives. Look at people who are fans of Harry Potter or another popular series known as the Percy Jackson Series. Both of these are series that people identify with for the rest of their lives and that will continue into the next generations that read them.

When it comes to banning books, I agree that some restrictions need to happen depending on the age of the student. However, to restrict what a student can and cannot read because it is something that you do not like, I feel, is ridiculous. I believe once you reach the age of about 13 and up, you will be exposed to these things way more in this world, with or without the books that are being banned. I feel like there is also no reason to ban a book that involves magic because it is something that people can find a love for their entire lives, like the “Harry Potter” series.

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About the Contributor
Daniel Meissner
Hi, I am Daniel Meissner, and I am a Digital Media Major at BVU writing for the tack! I spend most of my time calling sports and watching sports as a huge Wisconsin Sports fan. I mostly have an interest in writing sports and sports news about athletics at Buena Vista!

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