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Southern Shelving of Classic Books

Carla Perkins, Feature Editor

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Censorship is not a new topic of discussion, in fact, there is an entire novel about the banning of books by the government “Fahrenheit 451.” It seems like something that could never happen, especially not in a “free country” like the U.S. However, some school districts in Virginia, Mississippi, and more are shelving books like To Kill A Mockingbird, Huckleberry Finn, and books by Maya Angelou due to parent complaints. The reasoning behind this is the racial slurs and prejudice present in both novels. Parents have argued that reading these books in schools teaches kids that racial slurs are acceptable, or that it makes the students uncomfortable to read.

However, the point of books like To Kill A Mockingbird is to make the reader uncomfortable. I think controversial books teach kids to think a different way and learn from their ancestors’ mistakes and it is a crucial part of curriculum and child development. Kids shouldn’t stop reading these books, they should read more of them. Books like these help kids form their own opinions, and teach them to be independent and question the world around them.

Encouraging rather than discouraging students to read controversial books is not a bad thing. In the state the world is in right now, we need brave, educated thinkers who can see from all different points of view. The youth is our future, and would you want your future to be ignorant to the events going on around them? How will they make decisions? Will they be leaders or followers?

Overall, in my opinion, it is very important to teach today’s youth, not lie to them. Perhaps America is too sensitive when it comes to the younger generations, but it’s our fault for making them that way. Banning books is just a band-aid, and it won’t last long.

Virginia and anyone else who thinks that sweeping the history of our country under the rug will solve all of the world’s problems is wrong. Knowledge is power, and we can’t skimp anyone out on their education.

 

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The student news site of Chippewa Valley High School
Southern Shelving of Classic Books