Book bans at schools across the country are accelerating at a rate never before seen. (John Moore / Getty Images)

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Opinion: Strides to ban books in schools limits freedom

Many places in the United States are making serious efforts to place bans on books in schools, ultimately causing imperative issues on what students are allowed or prohibited to read.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/danielacortez06/" target="_self">Daniela Cortez</a>

Daniela Cortez

December 1, 2022
Many states like Texas, Florida, and other places in the United States are making great efforts to ban books from being read in schools.

Parents tend to be the ones advocating for certain titles to be removed from the hands of students. Due to parents being the ones to challenge the books, it causes the state legislatures to listen and proceed to ban the book.

Is this what America has come to? Banning books because it does not fit the personal views of parents or politicians?

A country where people care more about banning books than banning guns that as a result have killed hundreds of students. Where people demand the right to bear arms and urge to have the Second Amendment be followed but not the First Amendment.

The act of so many states banning books threatens our rights as individuals to the freedom of expression, which harms our First Amendment rights.

Within the 2021-2022 school year, more than 5,000 schools throughout 32 states have banned books. Even though this has been going on throughout history, it has been occurring more than ever at such a high-speed rate within the past year.

The state legislators are hand-picking which books should be banned as they want to censor the literature that pertains to important topics such as LGBTQ, people of color, mental health issues, religious themes, and stories regarding individuals with disabilities.

Already these groups are at a disadvantage in representation and to the ban books that spread some sort of awareness is damaging. The authors writing the literature are meant to express themselves and as the reader, to read that literature is meant to help us as individuals be conscious of the world around us.

The fact that state legislators want to erase these crucial issues that the books are by or about, shows that they want to control not only what students are exposed to, but control who is being represented in society.

The bans are taking place not only within the classroom but within libraries that limit access to books.

Even classics like “The Catcher in the Rye,” by JD Salinger, “The Lord of the Flies,” by William Golding, and “1984,” by George Orwell have all been banned in some places; they are works of literature that were created to expand on the human journey just like any other book. All are intended to bring attention to something in society.

Soon authors will be too afraid to write on these important issues for fear that their books will be banned.

To suppress this from students, what does that accomplish? Well, it creates a world where the students are not exposed to the diverse ideas of the world and become unaccepting of those who are not like them. Those students are our future and suppressing them from learning about those ideas can be harmful to our future society — limited access creates limited views.

This pushes back all the progress in our rights. All the struggles of the people that came before us fought to have the right to freedom of expression. The state legislators banning the books in states like Texas and Florida do not care for those strides or rights.

This is a serious issue that students are being limited in what they can read and what they cannot.