Sunday, October 3, 2010

Banning banned books



With Banned Books Week coming to a close, I wanted to offer a few thoughts on why book bans are not only impractical, but potentially dangerous.

First, they are ineffective in terms of shielding our kids. With our Internet culture there's a landslide of obscene material just one click away - and our kids know it.

Also, teaching a book is hardly endorsing it (or the behaviors, themes etc. in it). I just taught Beowulf, and am pretty sure I didn't encourage the kids to actually go slaughter anything with clubs and broadswords.

My third reason is far more serious: Whenever free speech is attacked it makes me nervous. Whether it's our president dismissing Fox while he fields press conference questions from the Huffington Post ...

Let's keep the free exchange of ideas just that - free, open, flowing and vibrant.

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