Should Libraries Be Able to Ban Books?

Should Libraries Be Able to Ban Books?

Ella Pope, Opinions Writer

Recently, book banning has spiked within libraries at a pace that has not been seen in decades. Lawmakers, parents and school administrators have been challenging books across the country since last fall. These attacks on the books are highly political and are being pushed by conservative groups in particular. 


The targeted books are mainly books that promote diversity for marginalized groups with topics such as race, gender, and sexual orientation as said by Zurcher of BBC. The push to ban more books has left many wondering if schools should be able to ban them in the first place.


Many parents and educators argue that individual parents should be able to choose what books their children read and what materials they become exposed to, especially at an early age. Others say that while parents should be able to guide their children in whatever direction they choose, they should not be able to force everyone to choose the same path for their kids by putting restrictions on books. By banning diverse books, the voices of certain groups are shut down and pushed to the side. 


The argument that banning books violates the first amendment is also a common argument. The first amendment allows freedom of speech, and this includes books. Banning books is the most common type of censorship in the United States. Censorship typically would violate freedom of speech, however, there are some exceptions as said by Webb of the First Amendment Encyclopedia. 


There is a fine line between banning books that are extremely inappropriate for certain school settings and pushing a political agenda by banning diversified books. Making sure that this line is not crossed is the only way to assure that all students have the freedom to choose their beliefs.