Video May 19 2023

Should Certain Books Ever Be Banned in School?

The following is adapted from OpenToDebate

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis passed a state education reform package meant to restrict certain books and how gender, sexuality, and race are taught in public schools. In Texas, school administrators restricted access to more than 800 books in 22 districts over concerns about whether they were considered “developmentally appropriate for student use.” Similar actions were carried out in Pennsylvania and Tennessee. In fact, all across the country school administrators are grappling with new pressures concerning what their students are reading and how they are taught. At its core is the fundamental question of whether some books are beyond reproach. Those who say “yes” argue that children should not be exposed to sex, violence, drug use, or other inappropriate topics. Further, they argue, keeping such books out of public libraries does not prevent students from accessing these books elsewhere. Others say that removing books is inherently un-American, and that reading controversial books fosters critical thinking, encourages empathy, and provides a more diverse understanding of the world. It is in this context that we debate the following question: Should Certain Books Ever be Banned in School?