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Read at Your Own Risk

Teachers Allow Room to Roam Within Curriculum

Katherine Kieseling

Katherine Kieseling

Katherine Kiesling, Reporter

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In recent years, schools have become more conservative in what they allow teachers to present in the curriculum. Statistics show that out of those education systems who object to mature types of literature, parents are ranked as the top protestors, followed closely by school administrations and then the teachers themselves. Furthermore, Texas, Oregon and North Carolina are the states with the most books challenged in the school systems and public libraries, according to ALA.org. The reasons for these protests range from mature content and language, to concerns that books such as “Harriet the Spy,” by Louise Fitzhugh, will encourage rebellion in pre-teens.

Individual districts are able to decide what will be presented to students. In fact, the AP Literature class continues to read books such as “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison, on the list of the top ten banned books in 2012, and “Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley, one of the top ten banned books of 2011, according to ALA.org. Even freshmen are presented with material that is often controversial – “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee, is on the list of top ten banned books for 2011 as well, but the work of literature is often considered a culturally significant classic, and many schools continue to present it as such.

“Frisco is really good about not banning books and letting kids and parents decide to self-censor,” librarian Maddie Powell said. “Teachers are good about independent reading and letting them know, ‘this is something that may surprise your parents if you bring it home.’”

When the term ‘Banned Book Week’ was coined in 1982, the official website tracked the challenges through the years. Over 11,300 books have been disputed, 311 in 2014 alone, according to Slate.com. These numbers pose the question, how much effect does banning books actually have?

“Honestly, I think it doesn’t do much, because there’s always ways to get the material from somewhere else,” senior Jessica Zalenski said. “Even if you don’t have it in the school  library, that doesn’t mean there isn’t another way to get it. You can always buy it at a bookstore or borrow it from friends.”

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The student news site of Wakeland High School
Read at Your Own Risk