The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The negative effects that banning books will have on our community

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN
This photo was taken on Sept 26, 2006 in Clearwater, Florida. Banned books sit on display in a library. Courtesy of wanderisgone.

One of the highlights of elementary school was the Scholastic Book Fair. Students would be able to choose from books to pencil erasers in the shape of fast food and brag about it for the rest of the school year.

However, there has been an increase in books being banned by overprotective parents looking to protect their children.

Educational planning for classes has always been a sensitive topic in society, especially in the history department for schools with younger children, usually elementary schools and middle schools, which include students up to 14 years old.

For the 2022-2023 school year, several schools in Texas have banned hundreds of books, and many other conservative-led states have done the same. The most interesting part of the books being banned, is that they all have to do with topics that are “sensitive” to talk about in an educational setting.

Books about anti-racism like “The Bluest Eye” and “Beloved,” both by Toni Morrison, and about the queer community like “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe and “Not All Boys Are Blue” by George M. Johnson, are just some of the few being targeted, according to The Guardian.

Who decides what books to be added to the list of books banned this year?

Earlier this month, “Read Me a Story, Stella”, a children’s book by Marie-Lousie Gay, was flagged for “sexually explicit” content, and was said to be reviewed for getting removed from shelves in schools in Alabama.

In truth, “Read Me a Story, Stella,” is in no way sexual. The main plot of the book is simply about a young girl sharing a love of reading with her younger brother. It was revealed that the book was flagged not because of content, but because the author’s last name is “Gay.”

LGBTQ+ and race issues have always been one of the ways that we have lost so much history in our education system. There is a fear in talking about serious topics, not knowing if it is too delicate to share with younger students. But, it is these students, especially teeangers, who are trying to find themselves and the path that they want to take in life. It is these students who are the future and the ones who need to be learning the truth with no filters.

Reading books that are written by an author the reader can relate to, or has a character that speaks to the reader, is what is so important. It helps the reader be seen and have a sense of belonging, instead of feeling even more left out when all the characters they see in a classroom look nothing like them. Fair skin and blue eyes or living the “normal” married life.

In order to keep us from repeating history’s mistakes, we must learn about history, and the present, as they are, without censorship.

Story continues below advertisement
More to Discover