Censorship in Schools:
Banning Books and Self-Expression
According to Webster’s Dictionary, censorship is “stopping the transmission or publication of matter considered objectionable.” (Webster 115). Book-banning has been going on for a long time in the United States. Today, there is a group of reviewers who read questionable books to determine whether the objectionable material, such as racism and vulgar language, is outweighed by the educational value of the books in question. (Petress 1) There are ideas that are found in textbooks that are also in question. Evolution is the central idea that is in question when it comes to censorship in school. There have been many cases that have gone to the higher courts that dispute the teaching of evolution in our American schools. Finally, when it comes to what students are allowed to wear, one interesting topic arose in my research. The banning of “body art”, piercings and tattoos, may not seem as common as the banning of books or ideas; but body art is being seen as a sign of rebellion and therefore is a subject of censorship in today’s schools. (Hudson 1). There are obvious benefits to censorship in American schools. Some argue that preventing our children from viewing or even learning about dangerous or objectionable material, i.e. books, textbooks, and body art, will help prevent rebellion from our students. (Hudson 1). I propose that instead of censoring ideas, books or body art, we teach our children how to deal with what they see in a way that will jumpstart the change that is wanted by those who want to censor these ideas.
The censorship of body art is only an extension of the censorship of individuality and self-expression. (Hudson 1). There are a great number of schools in America today that have banned many things involved in self-expression. I do agree that there must be some form of a dress code emphasizing on what is socially appropriate for our teens. That does not mean that students who must...
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