With this news from Texas, it only makes sense to dive deeper into Banned Books for this week's case study.
Let's start by saying banning books and access to knowledge is nothing new. It was common practice when civilizations were taken over they would destroy the people's books in order to erase them from history and of knowledge of their people.
This practice then continue during the enslavement era to keep people away from pursing education as a way of liberation and freedom.
With that say, what we are seeing now is a modern manifestation of these control tactics.
So the question becomes why are books being banned?
According to “The Office of Intellectual Freedom" there are three main reason books get banned: the material was considered to be "sexually explicit" the material contained "offensive language" the materials was "unsuited to any age group".
Although these are understandable guidelines they do cast a wide net, so that leads us to our next question.
(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)
What books are being banned?
In an article published by Education Week, over 1,100 unique books have been banned over challenged.
A few you might even have enjoyed reading including: The Handmaid's Tale, The Hate U Give, To Kill A Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, 1984, Of Mice and Men and Harry Potter to name a few.
Other interesting stats from the Education Week article:
⁃ Districts in 26 States Have Banned Books
⁃ Texas has the largest number of districts that have banned books
⁃ 273 Books have been Banned since 2020
⁃ A third of the books deal with LGBTQ issues
Banning books have become so popular that there is literally a week (this year it's Sept 18th-24th) were people read only banned books.
Our Take: Should kids be exposed to all the nuances of the world at a young age, absolutely not! However, do we need a better line of demarcation between age appropriate books and this emerging form of censorship… yes!
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