Editorial: Why Book Banning in Schools Should Stop


Students working in class. Photo by Aiden Perales

Zachary Roberts, Staff Writer

Recently there has been a new wave of books being banned in public schools that deal with certain controversial subjects such as race, gender, people that are LGBTQ, etc. Even though the issue hasn’t grown to every school district having its own repertoire of banned books, the number of books being banned has significantly increased. Books in schools should not be banned, and the action of doing so must stop in its entirety.

The first issue of banning books in schools lies with the fact that the criteria for what books should be and shouldn’t be banned is traditionally dependent on complaints by parents. While I’m not saying that parents shouldn’t have a right to be involved in their children’s education, the problem with relying on complaints is that parents can practically make the case for any book to be banned if it offends them or is too political for their tastes. Essentially, the mechanism of action allows parents to cherry pick books that they deem inappropriate, which isn’t right nor sustainable.

It’s also important to make the distinction between books sitting in a library and books actually being taught in instruction. If the books were being taught in the classroom then parents would have more of a right to be concerned. However, a majority of the books being banned are simply sitting in the library where it’s a students choice to read them, not a requirement.

Now those in favor of banning certain books illustrate the idea that certain books are too much for children to read at their age, regardless of politics and other issues. I completely agree with this statement, however the methodology to which books are being deemed appropriate to be banned or to not be banned is severely flawed. Having a parent complain about a certain book and that book being taken off the shelf the next day is certainly not a long term solution.

A solution for such a problem is difficult to find, given that our entire culture is dealing with similar issues concerning similar topics. Moreover, banning books in schools may just be a symptom of the cultural phenomena that our society is experiencing. Regardless, banning books in the manner that is happening now in schools should cease completely.