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Readers Respond: Should children's books and books for teens be censored? Who should do it?

Responses: 22

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Decide for Your Own Kids, Not For All

On the list of the most-banned books you will find wonderful, thought-provoking classics such as Brave New World, To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn, as well as many contemporary works. It is a shame and a travesty that a few parents are able to keep these books out of the hands of readers because of their own intolerance. I would never deny parents the right to decide what their children should read, but they do not have the right to make this decision for other parents.
—Guest Guest Susan

Hypocritical Thinking

To put it in the shortest of terms: Books (that are being banned) aren't allowed to be "sexually explicit", "violent", etc, but yet these same children are allowed to play games like Halo and Call of Duty, and watch shows with the same levels of violence, sex, and adult themes on TV. Where's the censorship for Cablevision? Or your local news station for that matter.
—Guest College Student

You Can't Build a Wall

Sexuality, violence and explicit language are a few aspects of the human experience which we are all confronted with. Banning books that include these things in them does not stop youth from having negative experiences. Since we cannot build a wall around life, we should not try to limit access to the tools children need to understand it. These tools are books. Knowledge is power. Reading about tough issues helps kids cope with real life situations and make informed decisions.
—Guest Shelley

Banning Books Is Not Right

To start, I work for a public library and it really infuriates me when I hear of someone who wants to ban a book just because they want to keep their child or other children away from exposure to the material. Every book is a good example of everyone's freedom of speech. Even though a book may not be suitable for the parents' standard it isn't fair to keep it away from the other kids who would like to read it. Almost all the books that usually appear on a banned book list are the "classics". But please explain to me why more children read more then than they do now? I think the parents need to get over themselves and just don't pick up the books and leave them where you found them, on the shelf.
—Guest Colby

Where are the parents?

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Harry Potter are all fiction, and the parents should explain this to the child they love. I was told the difference between Superman and my uncles and father.
—Guest donald g singer

Not their Call

Books should not be banned by institutions. Let the parents be responsible for their own children's reading material. I was almost 17 before my mom stopped censoring my books, but they shouldn't remove classics just because they might be offensive. It all begins with that. Then what will happen to freedom of speech? They don't censor TV or news, or radio barely, minus the cuss words. The world is not a perfect place. Therefore, books cannot be so either.
—Guest Emma

Government run entities are not parents

It is a parents responsibility to guide their own minor children toward adult responsibility. They do not have the right or responsibility to decide for other children (or adults) what they may be exposed to. Nor do government run entities have the right or responsibility to act as censors in place of a parent, or for that matter, for anyone. Every US citizen from the youngest, w/ parental assistance, to the oldest has the constitutionat right to decide for themselves what they will expose themselves to in the form of fictional and nonfictional media (ie, literature, tele- vision, radio, theatre, art, etc).
—koscheiman

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