Banned Books: Not Band Books

In the United States, citizens have the inalienable right to say, to a far degree, whatever they choose. Their unique choice of words can be published, and can be distributed to a far degree. Libraries, the epicenter for the distribution of knowledge, reserve the right to not have or distribute different types of books. The books that are essentially banned from libraries, whether they be school libraries or public libraries, are called banned books.

Within the various school districts in the US, multiple books have been banned for different reasons. For example, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was banned in the late 1880’s for being racially insensitive and for repeatedly using the “n” word.

The popular Harry Potter book series is banned in some states because some say the books “promote witchcraft” and can influence students into worshipping the devil. The main source of eradication of the Harry Potter series comes from religious schools that reside in the “Bible Belt,” which is located in the deep south of the US.

Catch-22, a novel published in 1961, was banned in 1972 by a school board in Ohio, and the ban was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court just four years later in the Minarcini v. Strongsville case. The novel is based in WWII and highlights the “insanity of war” and uses “very strong language” to do so. The book came into the mainstream during the Vietnam War when some felt that the book was harsh and stirred up too many people.

The constitutionality of banning books has been questioned from time-to-time, but many schools claim that books are banned to help protect the well-being of students. The books, in some senses, may corrupt or influence the young minds of the readers. It is my opinion, that schools and libraries should reserve the right to ban different books in the name of protecting the youth.

–Kaleb McCague

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