Book bans are anti-American, anti-democratic

The ability of teachers to properly educate students, and the freedom of students to learn by reading a variety of books, is under assault. As the Alpena News reported on Saturday, May 27, Florida and other states have enacted laws “making it easier for parents to challenge books in school libraries.” According to a Washington Post study of 1,065 complaints in 37 states, 43% of the books targeted by protesters feature LGBTQ characters and themes. Another 36% of challenged books focus on race or racism. More than 60% of protesters cite “sexual” content. In some states these new laws carry criminal penalties.

Book challengers claim they are protecting their children against abuse, exploitation, or moral harm. But are they? The Post found that two-thirds of the challenges they studied were made by a small group — eleven persons in total — who are serial book objectors. Thus a so-called “parent” in Florida claimed to protect an unrelated child in Michigan.

The generation that fought World War II knew what banning and burning of books led to. In Germany in the 1930s, and later in conquered countries, the Nazi regime sought to “purify” race, culture, and especially the education of children by getting rid of voices and views that opposed their own. But they were not protecting children. They were exploiting them.

Book bans are anti-American and anti-democratic. You cannot protect freedom by using the tools of fascism. But there is a better way. If you object to something your child will encounter in the classroom, ask that your child be excused. If you object to a particular book, tell your child not to read it. In short, be a parent.


Presque Isle


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