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  • Maddie Mills

Books on Trial: Should they be banned?

Book banning is undeniably present in our culture today, despite what people may think about it. For example, some of the most periodically banned books in public schools are books that address LGBTQ+ characters and issues. “Three of the most frequent LGBTQ+ titles to be banned include Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison, Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, and All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson '' (Masters). From banning books to passing legislative laws all over the country such as Alabama, Oklahoma, and Florida; schools are attempting to resist the discussion about LGBTQ+ topics. Many of the books that have been taken off the shelves at school teach lessons about acceptance of self and of others who are different. A student could feel a lack of self worth because of the eye opening books that give opportunities being taken away from them. A student wants to feel related to, and like their feelings are validated, so being stripped of this source is absent minded. An example of a helpful book being taken is “The picture book "It's Okay to be a Unicorn!" illustrates empathy and accepting those who are different, but it was deemed to be pro-LGBTQ[IA] indoctrination by some in the Buckeye Valley School District, including two school board members.” (Henry).


Parents typically find LGBTQ+ books to be too sexualizing for public school libraries. Students tend to be curious about how the world around them works from a very young age and “books look at the topics, the concerns, the worry, the fascination that kids have today… It’s the world in which they’re living” (Harris). Not all books with themes of LGBTQ+ topics include sexual contents. Curiosity and wanting to be educated are not crimes. A high schooler should be open to any and all options when it comes to education, not just academics. A student’s ideals about the world around them and knowledge concerning individuality are far more important than what’s inside a book. Is learning the curriculum important? yes; but why is it held at a higher value? If a student feels indifference towards a certain community due to the lack of enlightenment given at a young age, it is only the shortage of knowledge to blame for that. Prohibiting educational materials and discussion of sexual orientation and gender identities in schools (could) inflict harm upon children who are connected to the LGBTQ+ community.



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