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The Student News Site of Findlay High School

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Book Bans

Lucas Tuck

According to PEN America, an advocate for freedom of speech and press in America, public school book bans rose 33% in the United States between the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years. Over 40% of all of these book bans were in Florida, highlighting a correlation between conservative legislature and censorship of books.

“The fact that book bans are becoming more frequent is a problem because it is a form of censorship. Most of the books that are being banned in schools typically have something to do with gay relationships and things of the sort, making them inappropriate for the target audiences of primary school children,” sophomore Jaryn Loughman stated.

Since July of 2021, PEN recorded 6,000 books being banned. Often at the heart of banning books is fear of exposing children to progressive ideas which parents in the districts are worried will influence their children.

“Just tell your kid to not read it? Stop ruining it for other people who don’t care,” sophomore Aria Sams said.

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Books which reference or revolve around the subjects of sexual identity, slavery, or police brutality are the most commonly banned. Over 75% of books banned in schools are written specifically for young people.

“It’s important that equality is taught in school from a young age, but children as young as five years should not be exposed to content that is sexually exquisite or has many innuendos. Book bans are inherently a wrong thing, but it does become a problem when young children are being exposed to the content that most of these books being banned contain,” Loughman continued.

Some teachers have expressed fear that censorship of media available to children could worsen the loss of progress from the pandemic. Withholding information, even with the intention of protecting children, can leave future generations misinformed.

“The books in the schools aren’t that bad; there’s nothing overly inappropriate in our curriculum or in the library, so they’re pressed over small matters,” Sams continued.

Bans in Florida are feared by educators against media suppression to be precursors to bans in other states. Florida has, in recent years, become infamous for controlling what is taught in schools. Gender legislation recently passed in Florida has garnered a large amount of media attention and been the center of controversy.

The “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which put limits on education after being signed by Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, caused a lot of worries about what teachers could say in classrooms, causing teachers to worry that they could not do as little as tell their students the pronouns they went by. A settlement loosened the restrictions of the bill and clarified its effects, with the expanded version of the bill stating that any library books not used for instructional purposes in the classroom would not be subject to the restrictions put into place by the bill. The state with the most overall banned books in schools is Texas, which banned more than 1,500 books from July of 2021 to the end of 2023.

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About the Contributor
Lucas Tuck, Editor
Lucas Tuck is a first year Journalism student who has risen to become an editor quickly, as his writing skills, as well as skills with InDesign have proven to be a great advantage for the staff team.

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