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Book Banning Pointless?

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Book Banning Pointless?

Books are usually challenged with the best intentions-to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information (American Library Association, 2010). While I'm flattered with their concern, it is almost laughable that certain groups and individuals feel the need to challenge or ban books that are geared for young adolescents. Unless, these youngsters are orphans, I believe it is the parents that should be making the call on what their children should and shouldn't read. Granted, just because people are able to procreate doesn't mean they have the ability to make sound judgments and banning books for young people is exactly what this implies. This being the real problem at hand, in comparison, censoring their reading material is like putting the cart before the horse.

The book I read for this paper is called "Crazy Lady" (Conly, 2009). It is about a boy, Vernon, who lost his loving mother at a young age, left to grow up with his 7 siblings and hard working father in a low income urban area, taking place in the mid-eighties. He becomes friends with the crazy lady in town and her mentally handicap son. She is dubbed "Crazy Lady", by the children but in reality she is an alcoholic who became extremely belligerent in public when she had been drinking. Throughout this book I immediately assumed the reason it had been challenged or banned was be due to the alcoholic character that the book was based around. Conversely, the book had actually been challenged by a parent because approximately 5 times in the book the words "damn," "hell," and "bitch" were used. The woman stated that the book was pornography (Barnes, 1997). A statement like this only leaves me thinking how interesting it is that any person can challenge a book (Pitner, 2009) just as any person can bear children. It seems one doesn't need any credentials to do either. My point being, how seriously should we take ignorant objections made by just anyone? The entire process is a waste of precious time and energy. The answer is very simple without involving anyone, simply don't read the offending material and don't allow your children to read it either. Furthermore, hasn't this already been addressed in the U.S. Constitution?

In early January 1977, five students from Island Trees School District in Levittown, Long Island, filed a suit against their school board. The lawsuit maintained that the ban violated their freedom of speech and academic freedom (The New York Times, 1977). After seven years of battling, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the trial was warranted to determine if the board's action had violated the students' First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. The board agreed to return these 9 books on one condition: that the books be stamped with red



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