Banning Books

I read an article by Risha Mullins about censorship in the classroom. Growing up with parents who tried to control what I read, I should understand why people want to censor books, but I just don't get it.

It's like my sister-in-law who won't trust her 17-year-old son to go to the park on his bike alone. He does dangerous things, like ramping. A year from now, he'll be in college. Who is going to control him then? Who will protect him?

For him, there's no period of time between being controlled as a child and being free as an adult. There's no time to test himself in a safe environment where mistakes are still fixable. There's no adult coming alongside him and coaching him through making his own decisions, mentoring him into being his own person.

And that's why I am so bothered by the censorship in the high schools. The parents aren't reading these books with their kids and discussing the pros and cons of what is going on inside the books. The parents aren't passing on their values to their kids by talking about what they find wrong with the book. They're just saying, "You can't read this. It's bad."

In another article I read about a parent who wanted to ban a children's book (not a YA), the parent was upset by the opening line, "I am ______ (insert character's name) and I hate school." As a society, we so want our kids to succeed, that we don't want them to question the value of their education. Successful students love school. Successful students get good jobs. Successful students have swallowed the happy pills and will sell themselves for their job. Only to be laid off when the company thinks they can find somebody cheaper.

Only in questioning can we find truths. Only in doubting something's value can we truly find its worth.

If school has value, then in questioning we will seek the answer. We will find meaning in what we don't understand.

If school doesn't have value, then in questioning we can find a way to fix what is wrong.

To me, the problem with the school system is the way it instills this need for validation. Huh? What'd she just say?

I said, children are taught to get good grades, but no one tells them why. They take that attitude to their jobs, where they want their boss to pat them on the back, so they slave away for middle-class wages while someone else gets rich. And if you ask them about their dreams, they'll tell you they don't have time or it's too risky or they don't know how to make it happen.

"Dreams happen to someone else. Dreams happen in the movies. Not to me," they tell you.

Getting a job is the safe thing to do. Until you get laid off and realize just how much your employer really valued you.

What's your dream? What are you going to do to make it happen? Are you going to let them tell you what to think? Are you going to let them hide thoughts from you? There was a reason black slaves weren't taught to read.

1 comment:

I love your comments.