For some of us, there’s nothing more frustrating than unwarranted censorship. Schools have often banned books for frustrating reasons. And the efforts to “protect” children from specific content often feels forced by parents who overthink the literature they ban. Books are the best way to spur critical thinking and expand the ideas of impressionable minds. Acclaimed novelist Stephen King has a bit to say about that. And we know he’s never shy about sharing an opinion.
King’s post encourages readers, whose schools ban books, to seek out the offending literature at their local libraries. We’re 100% in agreement. Not to mention that a ban generally only encourages further seeking of the taboo. Stephen King‘s reasoning is a logical one. To seek out and educate oneself as to why their school might go to such lengths. What about the work of fiction or otherwise is so offensive it’s not allowed within the halls of academia?
Banned books feel a bit like a dated practice at this point, too. The internet has broadened so many avenues for seeking out that which is “inappropriate,” it hardly seems relevant to keep kids from reading a specific book in school. Heck, “Song of the South” is easy to find despite Disney’s best efforts to bury it as one of their biggest embarrassments. So trying to keep children away from specific themes or books is largely a fruitless practice that’s only going to make young minds more curious about what they’re “not allowed” to read.
Censorship CAN have its place. Keeping adult content from those too young to understand it is acceptable. But when it comes to books being banned at high school-level reading, well that’s just silly.