Banned Books Week (Sept. 21-27) is the time of year when: (1) I acknowledge how lucky I am to live in a country with a Constitution that recognizes our right to share and receive information; and (2) I marvel at the arrogance some people have to challenge this right by demanding that public libraries and schools remove certain books from their shelves.
As I wrote last year during this event:
“For people with the audacity to challenge a book, it isn’t enough to tell their own children to refrain from checking out that book. They feel a need to make sure that my children can’t check out that book, too. They attempt to impose their views on me, my children, and everyone else without delineating why the book presents a clear harm to anyone.”
What is it about the exposure to new ideas through books that scares these people so much? It’s a question I explored in my favorite post on this blog, Please Stop Parenting My Children, re-blogged here:
Recently, one parent requested that my child’s school serve juice to none of the children because her child isn’t allowed to have it (for reasons unrelated to life-threatening allergies, for which I would make an exception).
Another parent suggested that all the kindergarteners receive more homework simply because she didn’t feel that the amount proposed by the teacher would be sufficiently challenging for her child. Really? I’m not even sure five-year-olds should have homework at all, much less more of it.
Thankfully, these are just minor annoyances, but they demonstrate a certain attitude that is unfortunately common: What’s best for my family is what’s best for all families.
It’s partly because of this attitude–more pernicious examples of it–that we have…
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