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Censorship In Books: Research Report (Who Should Decide What High School Students Read?)

1846 words - 7 pages

Aaron SchwartzEnglish 11 AP5 November 2004Fired UpPenny Culliton walks into her classroom carrying Maurice, by E.M. Forster. She sits at her desk and tells her class to take their copies out. She promptly starts talking about the acclaimed author and his writing style, along with the homosexual ideas in the novel. Students are interested in both aspects of the book, the writing and the ideas, and join in on the discussion. In the middle of class she receives a note saying that she is to see the principal of the school. When she finally meets with him, she is notified that she is being fired for assigning her students a novel with gay and lesbian characters. She, along with her students, was outraged at such news. Nobody could believe that she would get in trouble for teaching what she wanted, not to mention what she was teaching was nothing more than an acclaimed novel (http://users.rcn.com).Many teachers like this one, avoid controversial books altogether because of the chance of losing their jobs. Books are being challenged all the time for reasons as unimportant such as Ann Frank's Diary of a Young Girl, "being too much of a downer"(http://www.abc.nl). Most of the reasons against these books are not justified, but are still powerful. It is the select few parents who are the cause of the restrictions put on teachers. One of these groups is the religious parents who say that any obscenity at all is against their religion, and that we should not be corrupting kids, and the other group is the parents who have no justification of why these books that their kids read may be more harmful than helpful. Teachers create a safe learning environment in which greater literature, although containing more profanity, may be taught so that morals can be learned along with what makes these writers so great. It is not fair that teacher's jobs are at risk for wanting a change. Teachers should raise the level of obscenity in books that are taught in order to subject kids to great literature, while transitioning them into adult literature in a safe environment. Instead of the school board deciding what books are allowed to be taught, teachers should be able to choose their own literature.Many people will not listen to reasoning. Some people against having certain books in schools feel, "in some cases, no matter what convoluted explanations are given, that agenda [of schools] seems like corrupting the morals of our child"(http://pabbis.com). They will not even consider the teachers point of view. Religious parents believe, "Schools try to teach children to have respect for the diversity of cultures and religions but don't seem to understand that this reading material undermines individual and religious values"(http://pabbis.com). There is not consideration of the benefits society will gain from this diversity and exposure to various religions. These parents believe that their kids will do what they read in books, and that there is only bad influences in these...

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