This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Censorship In Schools Essay

3737 words - 15 pages

Censorship in Schools

There has recently been a renewed interest and passion in the issue of censorship. In the realm of the censorship of books in schools alone, several hundred cases have surfaced each year for nearly the past decade. Controversies over which books to include in the high school English curriculum present a clash of values between teachers, school systems, and parents over what is appropriate for and meaningful to students. It is important to strike a balance between English that is meaningful to students by relating to their lives and representing diversity and satisfying worries about the appropriateness of what is read. This burden often falls on teachers. The purpose of this research paper is to discuss censorship in schools and to argue that the censorship of books in the high school English curriculum is limiting and takes away literature that is meaningful to students.

How a Book is Censored

Brinkley describes a few actions that can lead to the censoring of a book in a school or school system: An expression of concern is simply a question about the material with overtones of disapproval; an oral complaint is an oral challenge to the contents of a work; a written complaint is a formal written challenge to the school about the contents of a work; and a public attack is a public statement challenging the contents of a work that is made outside of the school, usually to the media to gain support for further action (1999). Brinkley also points out an important difference between selection and censorship: Selection is the act of carefully choosing works for an English course that will be age-appropriate, meaningful, and fulfill objectives, while censorship is the act of excluding works that some consider offensive to readers of a certain age group (1999). In other words, selection is about choice, while censorship is about exclusion.

Censorship can take different shapes depending on the public school system: Schools can give teachers a list of acceptable books to teach, just provide guidelines, or leave it up to the teachers to judge which books are appropriate (Agee, 1999). Teachers are often very nervous about including texts that are not traditional or specifically approved by the school, especially because of the highly publicized cases of teachers whose careers have been ruined because of censorship debates in courts and school systems (Agee, 1999).

First Amendment Rights Relating to the Censorship of Books

Censorship cases often bring about debates over students’ first amendment rights. Students’ first amendment rights are important to preserve so that students can not be excluded from meaningful works or literature. It is understandable for the government to design educational plans as a way to get its voice into classrooms, but “the truth-promoting function of the First Amendment provides no reason, however, to question the right of students to explore a variety of ideas and perspectives, and to...

Find Another Essay On Censorship in Schools

Censorship In Public Schools and Libraries

2759 words - 11 pages these censorship attempts are being waged, often successfully. Indeed, more than 97% of challenges take place in public libraries, school libraries, and classrooms (“ALA Challenges by Initiator”).When these challenges succeed, they also succeed in taking important, compelling, worthwhile literature from the hands and minds of students. Book banning in public schools and libraries is unethical, counterproductive, and futile; not only is it impossible

Censorship For Middle School Students Essay

1110 words - 4 pages reason the first five books of the Harry Potter series has all been challenged or targeted for censorship in libraries in the United States because it portrays wizardry and magic. Many fundamentalist Christian's were offended by the book's theme of sorcery and its focus on murder. The issue became a serious topic when teachers' began encouraging the Harry Potter series in public schools. Parents outraged by their children's exposure to books

The Role of Censorship

1334 words - 6 pages Censorship plays a huge role in today’s society. Censorship effects society in excellent ways by putting a blind fold on certain types of media, language, and other social values that should not be seen by all humans. Censorship is known to many as being listed under the category of moral. Censorship is moral, because it bans certain books from schools that should be banned, it helps parents keep their children from material they should not be

Arguing the Opposition of Censorship

1046 words - 5 pages ("Censorship, Press"). For many years, charges regarding economic censorship have risen with a trend obliging consolidation of the newspaper and magazine business. Ever since the creation of the Internet and the gruesome terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, the use of censorship has brought new and composite challenges in the constitution. ("Censorship, Press"). Public libraries, museums, and schools, are all very common sites for the efforts of

Analysis of the Article, Censorship: a Personal View by Judy Blume

955 words - 4 pages teachers like Gloria pipkins who was award winning English program was targeted by the censors for using adult literature ,Cecilia lacks was fired by a high school in st.louis for letting her students creating writing express the language by using words they heard outside of school. Another point that censorship is the overall main idea and premise of this article is that the parents of the young teens and adolescence are pressuring the schools to

The Negative Effects of Censorship

3851 words - 15 pages , political advocacy sites, and LGBTQ-themed sites are censored from the Internet experience of young adults, we are failing to empower our children with the skills they need to use good judgment, common sense, and basic precautions when browsing the web. Rather than employing overly stringent filters to censor the Web, libraries and schools should educate students to protect themselves online (Reitman). These examples prove that censorship in education


1718 words - 7 pages other reason, such as budget constraints. This shortcoming is acknowledged in the study’s implications for further research. The units of analysis for this study are School Library Media Specialists. The study collects data about their behavior as it relates to self-censorship by analyzing the holdings in the schools’ online catalog. The number of titles found in the OPAC is therefore used to measure their self-censorship behavior. This is

Censorship: A Tool for Revoking our Rights and Happiness

2760 words - 11 pages the Winter Soldier Investigation of the Vietnam War have been censored in history books. This is known as "whitewashing." The removal of important events from history books due to censorship is immoral and wrong. Some religious groups have attempted to block teaching of evolution in school. The religious groups would try to have this blocked because it contradicts their own personal beliefs ("Censorship." Wikipedia 4). Some schools have even

Banning Books in Schools

1102 words - 5 pages The practice of the censorship of books in schools has been prevalent due to the explicit content. Parents have been complaining to schools about books that count as required reading because they disapprove with the points made in the book. If a book consists of offensive or sexually explicit material, parents challenge the schools in order to prevent their children from reading them. Censorship in general has been an intensely debated issue

Censorship of the Mind

1138 words - 5 pages objectionable by the standards applied by a censor. It has been like this for ages. As long as someone has something to tell, another will be there to try and prevent them. Schools have been doing this for quite a while now and there is a need to stop it. Censorship of books in schools should not be allowed as many students will never get to experience classic literature if not exposed to it early on. "Intellectual Freedom is the right of

Censorship: A Growing Issue

1337 words - 5 pages 'When a government restricts what its citizens can read, that is censorship. When parents have input on what local officials do in the schools, that is democracy' (Hernandez 12). Censorship, though not recognized in the general public, is far reaching and important to those who it affects. According to a report from People for the American Way, there were 338 challenges in 48 states to censor material, and 50% were successful (Hernandez 12). And

Similar Essays

Censorship In Schools Essay

1607 words - 7 pages is censored varies. Anyone can censor, including parents, teachers, school officials, and board members (Taylor 8-10) Many things are censored in schools and places where children are present because parents do not want their kids to be exposed to inappropriate content (Taylor 10). Students are entitled to their First Amendment rights just as much as adults are, but schools still censor things like newspapers, books, and clothing. Censorship

Censorship Of Books In Schools Essay

1902 words - 8 pages Censorship in schools is a major crisis. Books across the US are being pulled from shelves because of school boards wanting to censor them. People who want to censor books in the school systems would be taking away important practice in vital writing skills, as well as depriving students of the First Amendment rights to free thought and expression. The most important question that people ask is concerning censorship is not whether it should be

Censorship In Libraries And Schools Essay

1071 words - 4 pages Censorship in Libraries and Schools What would you do if you went to your child's school and saw that they were looking at inappropriate material on the internet? Would you react the same way if they were in a public library? Who decides what is okay for your children to view? Who decides where they can view it? What can you do about them being able to view these things? Are there any laws that can prevent this from happening? What are

Censorship In Schools Is Not Justifiable

1124 words - 4 pages Censorship in School is Not Justifiable Walt Whitman once said, “The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.” Between the years 2000 and 2009 a total of 3200 books were challenged in school libraries in an attempt to expurgate, or censor, the content in books provided to students. Today the trend of censorship continues as popular novels such as The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars, and Captain Underpants are censored from schools