The most debatable and controversial form of censorship today is the banning of books in school libraries. Banning books that educate students is wrong and selfish. Censorship of books in school libraries is neither uncommon nor an issue of the past. Books with artistic and cultural worth are still challenged constantly by those who want to control what others read. The roots of bigotry and illiteracy that fuel efforts to censor books and free expression are unacceptable and unconditional. Censoring school books in libraries can often lead to censorship of our basic freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment. In some cases, a minority ends up dictating the majority in censorship cases. To be told what is permissible reading material and what is not is a direct violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.
The First Amendment of the Constitution is the most important and debatable of them all. The First Amendment states; "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, of prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression defines the freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, association, and the corollary right to receive information. Human rights and intellectual independence; the two are inseparably linked. Freedom of opinion and determining what you want to read is not
derived from or dependent on any form of government or political power. This right is inherent in every individual. The power of freedom cannot be yielded, nor can it be denied. True justice comes from the exercise of rights.
Students enjoy going to the library and being able to read what they want to read, without any indecision. As soon as a censor claims a book should be censored, the student's hope of reading that book is diminished. Censorship, ignorance, and limitations on the free flow of information are the tools of dictatorship and oppression. The "tyrant" simply chooses to pull that book from the shelves of knowledge, and the students right of the First Amendment is violated (Appendix A).
Books like The Chocolate War, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and Of Mice and Men have been placed on the controversial bookshelf of many school libraries. The Chocolate War and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings were challenged for reasons of being "sexually explicit" Of Mice and Men, challenged for using "offensive" language. Also Harry Potter for encouraging witchcraft, sorcery, and Satanism. If it's not one "ism," it's another. Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time has been targeted by censors for supporting New Ageism, and Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for promoting racism. Sometimes books are banned or censored for unusual and often ridiculous reasons. An example of such banning is of Little Red Riding Hood in two California districts in 1989. In the story, Little Red Riding Hood is bringing a cake and a bottle of wine to her grandmother's house. The districts claimed they were concerned because of the use of alcohol in the story. Where does that leave today's
children? It appears that the children of today are in danger of being "protected" from a lot of great literature. I feel that by the time a child can read these books, they are at an age where they can distinguish between things that should and should not be said. I think that it is up to the parents to educate the child that just because they say it in the book, does not mean he or she should do or feel the same. I can just imagine next years headline: "Goodnight Moon: Banned for Encouraging Children to Communicate With Furniture!" "If we got rid of everything these people object to, there'd be nothing...
...It’s not about Censorship, it’s about responsibility: Censorship in schools
Cheney High School
The article argues that book banning and censoring the student newspapers threaten the right to a free press and speech granted to the people in the U.S. under the First Amendment of the Constitution. The First Amendment allows citizens the right to access, to publish or to broadcast any content as long as it doesn’t. However, it is noted that censorship of publications challenges the freedom of expression and the right to free press. The negative implications of censorship are also discussed, along with the role of obscenity in publication.
The question at hand is if students should have to leave their first amendment rights at the school house gate? The voices of the young people are just as important as anyone elses. If students want to express themselves openly and blatantly, they should be able to do so. School publications should not be censored due to the sensitivity of other students and the issues that the administrations face. Students should not be deprived of their constitutional rights, including freedom of press.
Censorship is the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts. The arguments regarding censorship has become a big deal in the past 20 years...
CENSORSHIP IN SCHOOLSSchool is a unique place that shapes the personality of every individual. Besides the instruction given by teachers, books and study materials greatly contribute towards individual development. When books are banned, students can lose important resources for learning about society and themselves. It is important to be conscious of the reasons for censorship. Otherwise, censorship can cut down on the effectiveness of education.
The ideals behind censorship are undeniably genuine. But censorship without valid justification often triggers a reaction because it conflicts with constitutional values; the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from making laws that infringe upon the freedom of speech or freedom of press. (Wikipedia.org). Schools and libraries on various occasions use self discretion in banning material deemed not suitable for its students. This is often due to the fear of controversies and unfavorable reaction from parents. And yet, books can get banned even if they discuss valid subjects like human anatomy, gender equality, racism, religion, evolution, creationism and other important topics. Would we ban dictionaries and encyclopedias for carrying the same content? A major problem with censorship is the difficulty of setting clear limits for determining...
...The Community’s Role in Dealing with CensorshipCensorship has been always been a tough topic especially when it deals with the books in school. Robert Foley, author of “The Community’s Role in Dealing with Censorship, Educational Leadership; Jan 1983, Vol. 40 Issue 4.” misleads his readers with the title. The author does not provide enough evidence to support his claim.
The title of an article is very important because it provides readers with a sort of sneak peak at the intended contents. The title is as important as the contents of the article are. The author failed tremendously in that aspect. Most readers will look at a title of an article before they even decide to read its contents. The title “The Community’s Role in Dealing with Censorship” is very strong, but the contents do not have anything to do with the title. It is very misleading ant the author should consider changing it.
Robert Foley’s central claim is that.” Educators responses to complaints about books should be better and that the process should rely on due process, the basis for our judicial system.” An article’s central claim is the author’s argument. It should be clearly stated and accompanied by several supporting facts. Mr. Foley provides supporting facts, but not enough to convince the reader that the claim is legitimate. Some authors may elect to sort of hide their central claim while others put it up front to...
...Censorship in Schools:
Banning Books and Self-Expression
According to Webster’s Dictionary, censorship is “stopping the transmission or publication of matter considered objectionable.” (Webster 115). Book-banning has been going on for a long time in the United States. Today, there is a group of reviewers who read questionable books to determine whether the objectionable material, such as racism and vulgar language, is outweighed by the educational value of the books in question. (Petress 1) There are ideas that are found in textbooks that are also in question. Evolution is the central idea that is in question when it comes to censorship in school. There have been many cases that have gone to the higher courts that dispute the teaching of evolution in our American schools. Finally, when it comes to what students are allowed to wear, one interesting topic arose in my research. The banning of “body art”, piercings and tattoos, may not seem as common as the banning of books or ideas; but body art is being seen as a sign of rebellion and therefore is a subject of censorship in today’s schools. (Hudson 1). There are obvious benefits to censorship in American schools. Some argue that preventing our children from viewing or even learning about dangerous or objectionable material, i.e. books, textbooks, and body art, will help prevent...
...Is Censorship Needed?
Freedom of speech has always been in the news headlines as a major controversial issue. The debate on whether or not speech should be censored is the huge question that is currently being discussed. There are two sides to this argument; those who believe that people should have limitless rights to freedom of speech, and then there’s the other side of the argument where people strongly believe in limiting people’s rights to speech. It is with great difficulty that our society actually comes to a conclusion. In addition, each side has persuasive and factual points that support their argument. Discovering the argument that would have the most beneficial and lasting outcome would, in all, validate that author’s initial claim.
All throughout history, a majority of problems trace back to one notorious instigator: personal expression without limits. It is evident that when people are free to exercise their rights to expression, a majority of the situations escalade into a much bigger affair. Moreover, a repetition of such events will likely lead to an imbalance in society. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the creation of any laws that abridge the freedom of speech. However, many people do not recognize the prevailing power of the Congress and its authority to enforce or limit laws, without its actual presence in the Constitution.
Just because people are given the right to freedom of speech, does not mean citizens...
...Censorship in Public Schools
-A principal in a California high school bans five books written by Richard
Brautigan because he thinks they might contain "obscenities or offensive sexual
references" (Berger 59).
-A Vermont high school librarian is forced to resign because she fought the
school board's decision to remove Richard Price's The Wanderers, and to
"restrict" the use of Stephen King's Carrie and Patrick Mann's Dog Day Afternoon
-An Indiana school board takes action that leads to the burning of many copies
of a textbook that deals with drugs and the sexual behavior of teenagers (Berger
These cases of censorship in public schools are not unusual and there is
evidence that such challenges are increasing (Woods 2). These challenges are
actually typical of the ones being leveled against schoollibraries today. These
challenges can come from one person or a group concerned with the suitability of
the material in question. In almost every case, the effort to ban books is said
to be "justified by fear of the harmful effects that the books may have on young
children" (Berger 59). The result of these censorship attempts has been two
opposing sides: one side believes that "more suitable materials can usually be
found from among the wealth of materials available on most subjects (Woods 1),
and the other...
...discuss the arguments for the need for censorship in a society. Firstly, it argues that censorship maintains security by providing people with privacy and protects them against illegal material. The essay moves on to discuss social aspects that censorship benefits to a society, such as maintaining the culture of a society and conserving religious values. Finally, the essay claims that politics has need for censorship as it protects the innocence of members in a society and prevents public outbursts. The essay will conclude by explaining the importance of having censorship in societies, especially in modern societies.
(Approx. 99 words)
Arguments for the need for censorship in society
There is an importance, especially in modern societies, for the need of supervision and control of information and ideas that should or should not be made available to the public. One way in which information can be supervised and controlled is by censorship. In a society there can be arguments both for and against the need for censorship. Although most people believe in the importance of freedom of speech, there is also an importance to understand the advantages of having control of what is being said of written in a society. The arguments for the need of censorship in a society are mainly the...
...Censorship: To censor, or not to censor?
What is Censorship?
Censor-ship- The practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts. This is the Merriam-Webster definition of censorship. However some may argue that this vague definition sheds little light on the many cases of censorship. People against censorship such as English scholars would argue that censorship is far more complex than the definition that Merriam – Webster has offered. Those against censorship would probably agree with the expose offered by conservativetruth.org, and it is as follows; Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons—individuals, groups or government officials—find objectionable or dangerous. It is no more complicated than someone saying, “Don’t let anyone read this book, or buy that magazine, or view that film, because I object to it!” Censors try to use the power of the state to impose their view of what is truthful and appropriate, or offensive and objectionable, on everyone else. Censors pressure public institutions, like libraries, to suppress and remove from public access information they judge inappropriate or dangerous, so that no one else has the chance to read or view the material and make up their own minds about it. The censor wants to prejudge materials for everyone.