Democratic society is obligated to halt book banning

To the editor,

The act of banning books can be interpreted as a moderate form of book burning since both banning and burning historically outlaw books containing violence, sexuality, negativity, or other controversial issues

The practice of book banning involves obligation and responsibility. The former is something we have to do, while the latter is something we should do. We have an obligation to educate our young people in history, science, government, literature so they can decide what responsibility they will carry out as adult citizens in our democracy.

What about our rights as parents? Don’t we have the right to decide which books are appropriate or inappropriate for our children? Who will make these decisions? We could ask AI which books are correct, just, and honorable enough for young people. We can appoint a censorship committee that has the power to dictate what books our youth will read and what ones they will not read? Whose standards will these committee members use to make these difficult decisions? What exactly are our legal, social, and ethical rights as parents?

Living in a democratic society gives us countless opportunities to define our rights and freedoms. Book banning has the potential of limiting these opportunities for our children. It is natural to want to shield them from the evils of the world. However, our young people need access to all knowledge of the world’s darkness and light to help them understand how one relates to the other. We, as people living in a democratic society, are obligated to stop book banning. Our children deserve to learn without impediment.

Linda S. Lucas


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