With everything going on in our society today, I feel that the younger generations have a greater understanding of the “uncomfortable” and “harsh” realities of the outside world.
Thanks to the internet and social media, we literally have the world at our fingertips. Therefore, teenagers and young adults today know more about inequality and politics and other “real world” topics than ever before.
So, why is it that there are so many works of literature that are banned in schools? Why is the curiosity and learning of our young minds being restricted?
In the modern world today, social media and technology rule our lives. We are constantly fed news and false information and lies from our phones and computers, yet we also have the greatest amount of knowledge available at just the click of a button.
I would argue that today’s youth has more knowledge of what’s happening in the world than most adults do.
So, what’s the harm in reading books that discuss topics like inequality or mental health? I mean, these are real things that exist in our world today.
In schools across the United States, revered works like The Great Gatsby and The Kite Runner have been removed from reading lists because they are deemed as “inappropriate” for students.
At Mount Pisgah, I know that many students have actually read such works in English class, but thousands of students across the country do not have the same luxury.
Now, many may be wondering, ‘if we can read these books here, what’s the point of this article?’ Well, the point is that although we do live in America– “the land of the free”–many people do not realize that censorship exists in our everyday lives.
Take the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury for example. In many schools across the country, this book is not allowed in classrooms because of the discussion of topics like drugs, suicide, murder, and abortion.
Although these topics can be sources of conflict or are uncomfortable to talk about, they are prevalent throughout the world and in our everyday lives.
If we don’t allow the youth of society to be exposed to these issues, then how will they react when they are suddenly thrust into a place where these things are happening everyday? What is the point of school if not to prepare students for the real world?
Especially with social media apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat, topics such as these are talked about everyday amongst millions of people, so how is it justified to ban a book that discusses the same things?
Websites have the ability to track what we have viewed, our phones listen to us, and countless other aspects of our lives are constantly monitored and controlled, but why is there a need to restrict even the books we read?
I believe that if social media is free and available to anyone with internet access, then students should be able to decide for themselves what books they can and cannot read in school.