Banning books harms student experience

By Hannah Meyerhoeffer

Contributing Writer

Photo by Jubenal Aguilar Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read Sept. 25 - Oct. 1.
Photo by Jubenal Aguilar
Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read Sept. 25 – Oct. 1.


As censorship becomes an increasingly hotter topic, the Brookhaven College Library staff celebrates literature once considered taboo during Banned Books Week Sept. 25-Oct.1. Some works are barred from some schools because of harsh themes within them. Parents and school staff sometimes argue students are too young to read such awful or graphic scenes.

“In a social media-flooded world, it would take the shield of Captain America to keep the unpleasant facts of reality at bay,” according to Jamie Leigh, of Punchnel’s web magazine.

Nearly every young student I know has access to technology that can expose them to the darker side of humanity on a daily basis. Most young students have already uncovered some sort of ugly truth via the internet.

It’s almost delusional to assume that just because a student isn’t allowed to read certain texts, they won’t be exposed to similar information. At least in literature, the reader will gain insight and knowledge on the topics, which they can use to explain the world around them.

This is why books are some of the best teachers. From books, readers not only learn about issues in the world, but also how those issues actually affect people’s lives.

“Free access to books and ideas is the foundation of our government and our society, enabling every person to become an educated participant,” according to an article in The Huffington Post.

In other words, if young people aren’t able to educate themselves on sensitive topics through books, they will not do much to change the world around them. We cannot expect students to remain naive as they reach adulthood. At some point, they must begin to understand the struggles that may affect their lives every day.

Books, especially controversial ones, are amazing tools for teaching young readers about hardship.

Schools should welcome these taboo subjects in the classroom so students can learn about them in a safe environment where they are free to ask questions and form their own opinions.

“Few things have the ability to change the world like books do,” according to Katelyn Hallman, a content provider for social media platform, The Odyssey Online. Schools have the opportunity to place these world-altering ideas into the minds of young people. It would be absolutely foolish to squander that.