There Is A Cure. Essay On Censorship

1002 words - 4 pages

There is an epidemic in our country, and it is growing stronger daily. Someone is notbeing allowed to live her/ his life to the fullest degree because of this disease. Its traits can befound in every city, town, and state across the country. No, this epidemic is not AIDS or cancer:however, if left alone, its long term effects can be just as detrimental. The name of the epidemic iscensorship, and last year, the number of censorship cases in the school systems across Americareached a new high because certain interest groups feel they know what is best for students tothink. The censorship of academic materials must be banned because no group has the right toimpose its ideas of politics, morality, or religion to a group of students who have the right toinform themselves on all subjects and to exercise their own sense of reason.'The injustices of censorship were in full force at least as early as 1644, the year Englishwriter John Milton wrote his famous Areopagitica to defend freedom of the press' (Tax 154).Last year alone, there were more instances of school censorship than any year since 1982 (Clark171). The most challenged books deal with the following subjects: sex, feminism, teenrebelliousness, AIDS, homosexuality, the negative African-American experience, and non-Christian viewpoints. The overwhelming majority of book objections come from parents in thecommunity who have no authority on what should be censored and what should not be censored(Clark 54). Deanna Duby, director of educational policy for the American Way, expectscensorship to be on the rise in the future. (Solin 98).The fundamental purpose of schools is to allow everyone to have the opportunity to learn,Thus, whenever a school system denies a student materials because of censorship, that schoolsystem is acting against its original purpose. School libraries are a distinctively Americaninstitution, invented to insure that lack of money to buy books would never mean that anyone wasdenied the chance to learn. 'The American Library Association has long believed that it is theresponsibility of libraries to furnish to the public widest range of materials' (Opp. Views. 141). Itis right to expose children to the weaknesses of our society and encourage them to improvesociety. Students should be taught objectively in order for them to make unbiased decisions. Thatis why it is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversityof views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.The school systems do not need to endorse every idea or presentation in the material they makeavailable. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral,or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what materials should be published or circulated.Educational institutions serve their educational purpose by helping to make available knowledgeand ideas required for the growth of the mind and the...

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