Daniel Ryan Carr
Last week, Highland Park Independent School District banned seven books after hundreds of parents complained about mature content and religious biases.
While all seven were originally on approved high school reading lists, after parents objected the board decided to temporarily remove them from the list. This is only one of the many districts, such as Riverside Unified School District and San Antonio ISD, where books are being banned because of mature content.
These books do have slightly more mature content, which some students would grin and chuckle at, and parents think they shouldn’t be exposed to yet. It is obvious to see that there are some provocative moments. Some people see it as sheltering or insignificant because of how much kids see on the internet nowadays. Again, it is easy to see how both of these arguments could also be made.
I think banning these books is a little over the top because of content parents don’t think their children should see. In our society, students are exposed to these inappropriate themes in every which way. We see it on every social media website and watch it in many of the shows and movies on TV, so, in their eyes, it really isn’t sheltering them from anything they don’t already see or hear.
Banning books also shows a lack of trust between the parents and their children. They don’t think minors will be able to handle the adult subject matter, when, in reality, many were already desensitized by the time they got to high school.
Parents are failing to see that by banning these books from schools, they are not really addressing the issue. If preventing students from exposure to adult content is the reason, banning books fails because students will see far more than what those books are saying in society every time they use their phones, computers, and TVs. It makes sense that parents are trying to lessen the amount of mature content or religious biases, but they should realize the harder they try to hide these topics, the more enticing they become.
The banning of books should not be as big of a deal as it is being made out to be. Banning these books is not really protecting students, because even if one disregards the sexual content, the internet is full of people who are constantly expressing their opinions about any controversial topic.
In the end, this banning of books is failing to address any of the real issues that Highland Park parents are worried about. There is no point in trying to stop high school teenagers from reading these books because of the far greater content they are seeing outside of school.