Why books should never be banned

Francesca Divincenzo, Staff Writer

All over the world and even in the United States, certain pieces of literature are being banned such as “Harry Potter,” “Of Mice and Men” and “Perks of Being a Wallflower.”According to an LA Times Article, in a Virginia governor’s race, politicians have been campaigning for a proposed book ban in their Virginia Beach schools. They engage their constituents by whipping up a moral panic over public education while stoking the fires of race-related fears. In fact, using these fears to ban books from schools has become a more popular tactic in elections across the country.

I honestly believe that politicians use banned books as a topic to fire parents up (relating to their personal beliefs). It is basically a fear tactic.According to the Everyday Health Group, a child who is not educated on certain topics will learn information “in the school yard” rather than from a book that could answer all the questions the child has. Parents are supposed to be a child’s fiercest advocate, but they can also act as a roadblock in learning because they are afraid that if their kids have more information and facts, they could potentially lose control. This is wrong because it may hurt their child in the long run. For example, in the Virginia Beach school situation, backers and the parents who support the book ban describe the books as “abhorrent” and “pornographic.” One parent even claimed at a school board meeting that the books “groom” young people for sexual predators.

Books do not groom children for sex predators, if anything books prevent this because books can teach lessons that can empower children with knowledge on topics such as consent. Thus, prevent this from happening. The school board refuted the proponents’ arguments and I agree with them because banning books for your child may seem like it only affects your kid, but it does not. The above scenario is similar to that of a classroom group punishment.Although parents are just trying to shield their children from the evil of this world, in the long run this has the potential to hurt them at the same time. Books help people in so many ways. Personally, I never really started reading until I read the “Harry Potter” books by J.K. Rowling. Her series acted as an escape for me from the world and other books can serve this purpose for many others.

Kids often face bullying, academic struggles, social anxiety and more troubles in their childhood, but reading and the world of books can give people the opportunity for escape when there are no other options to do so in real life. Banned books often deal with hard realistic topics such as grief, divorce, sexual assault and bullying. Many, including myself, have taken comfort in knowing characters from stories that often feel the same way too. Overall, banning books is wrong for keeping children from the truth, using it as a fear tactic and giving the child no escape from the harsh realities of life.