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The Norseman

Big brother ban on books

Censoring. Banning books. Controlling information.

These ideas seem like they should be sequestered to history books or examined during an analysis of the novel 1984, but with the recent decisions made by the Brenham ISD School Board, the limitations of ideas and freedom of information feels all too near.

Something can be said for choosing age-appropriate books, but once students step onto a high school campus, they are well on their way to adulthood and the responsibilities of self-regulation and care must be fostered.

The themes and imagery adults are looking to label as inappropriate are not much different than many of the themes and imagery that exist in pieces of classic literature held in high regard across the country.

Though a majority of the general public can agree that certain books should not be in elementary libraries, they also agree that limited scrutiny should take place in a high school library.

As a majority of students have 24-hour unrestricted access to any and all information via the internet on their phones, the idea that they are being exposed to something dangerous in a school library is laughable.

Kids will always find a way to access material that certain portions of the public want to limit, whether it’s on their laptop, their smartphone, or even their TI-Nspire calculators.

Restricting access to or censoring books sets a dangerous precedent for limiting freedom of speech that extends to all areas of the school, including school news and classroom discussions.

Erasing or disallowing language or entire books that contain valuable knowledge about where society has existed through the years, creates issues with the control of information and truth.

We do not believe that every book has a place in a school library, but a majority of books should have a place in a high school library.

Without the study of difficult themes and cruel realities, students are shielded from the harsh realities of life that exist outside of the protective umbrella of childhood.

Students should be prepared for adulthood, not inhibited from learning.

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