Banned books are being taken out of school libraries


Lily Howard

“A display of books that have been challenged/banned in schools by Caitlin Greener”

Books are an escape for many people, myself included. Recently, in schools, the topic of banning certain books has become a major issue. The problem is, banning books puts unfair limitations on an activity used by many people to expand values, hear other opinions and just overall learn.

According to Quartz, banning books in schools has been on the rise for many years. However, in the last few years (2020-2022), the number of bans in schools has almost doubled. Starting in 2020, complaints about certain books in schools started to rise, starting as just mild complaints, but soon turned into full social and political groups such as “Moms For Liberty” and “No Left Turn in Education” have been created in attempts to get these books off of school shelves. 

The main controversy of these bans starts with the type of books being targeted. 41% of the books contain LGBTQ+ protagonists or prominent secondary characters and 40% contain protagonists or prominent secondary characters that are POC. As of 2022, bans are being reported in approximately 138 school districts across 32 states, Banned in the USA said.

Of course, there really are certain topics that may not be appropriate in schools, but the books that seem to be targeted now are strictly due to the LGBTQ+ and race within the book. It is not fair to limit what students are allowed to read strictly based on political and social groups deciding whether their views on these topics are right and should be pushed onto all children.

As many books as possible should be in school libraries

— Librarian Ms. Greener

“We believe in the library world that you have a right to choose what you want to read. Someone else’s, parent, a neighbor, or anyone else should not have the right to choose for you…As many books as possible should be in school libraries” Niles North librarian Caitlin Greener said. 

One book in particular that has been challenged/banned in many schools is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This book is about how society uses stereotypes against black people to justify racism and violence against them. The inspiration for this book was the police shootings that were happening against black people. I personally read this book and it confuses me how someone would want to ban it.

The actions, words, and experiences that are written about are real things that were happening and could even be seen on the news. It was very helpful in explaining what was going on in the world, written in a way that I, as a teen, was able to understand. The banning of this book in schools feels like a very important, real-life topic that is trying to be covered up and hidden rather than allowing a way for students to read about and understand on their own. 

The amazing thing about books is you get the choice of what to read. If a parent has a complaint about one of these books, even if it is against my opinion, they can regulate their child’s reading however they want. However, taking away the books, in general, is not fair to all of the other kids who use these books as an escape or even a learning opportunity to try and understand or make sense of these topics. Even if it is just for interest, the books should be there.