Ban the book banners

     Books inform, inspire and teach what the world has to offer. While a book may be fiction, its lessons are relevant. Students learn to express themselves in school, and so do writers in their books. So, why are government officials and angry parents pressuring schools to ban books? 

      By banning books, they are saying that some stories should not be told. Government officials and some parents refuse to see that novels have both the good and the bad. By getting rid of a novel altogether, they are ignoring the valuable moments, ideas, themes and characters when they should be cherishing them. 

     On Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, Senator Rob Standridge filed two bills to support his claim that banning some books benefits everyone in the Oklahoma school districts. 

     “Our education system is not the place to teach moral lessons that should instead be left up to parents and families,” Standridge said. “Unfortunately, however, more and more schools are trying to indoctrinate students by exposing them to gender, sexual and racial identity curriculums and courses. My bills will ensure these types of lessons stay at home and out of the classroom.”

     Why should moral lessons only be taught at home? Morals are taught and learned everywhere we go, and not just at home. “Indoctrinate” is the wrong word for this statement. In schools, every person is a unique individual with their own beliefs. Even if you do not believe in an issue in a book, there are other topics in a book that hold value. At Kaneland, teachers never try to brainwash students with only their opinions because students get all the facts to make their own decisions on what to think. 

     While some topics in books might be mature, so is the world. Sheltering children from books because of sensitive subjects does more harm than good. Why ban a book for profanity when people use strong language every day? Why ban a book for shedding light on topics like racism, sexism, classism, religious prejudice and other subjects when it is something that people see, hear and read in everyday life and on the news?

     Parents have every right to tell their children they cannot read a book because of the content, but that can make children want to read the book more. Instead, maybe guide a child through a book by pointing out negative behaviors, actions and topics a book covers. Let them know it is okay to ask questions about the book itself. For a teen to be ready for the adult world, they should first read about adult topics.