Banning Books Goes Against The First Amendment Essay

Banning Books Goes Against The First Amendment Essay

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Banning books goes against the First Amendment, it restricts learning, and it discourages creative and critical thinking. Banned books are books that have been censored by an authority – a government, a library, or a school system. Banning a book means having it removed from our libraries and school systems. They say that books are ban to protect people – mostly children – from the difficult ideas and information that are written in them. It seems to be that most of these ideas are too frightening or controversial for others to have to endure. But when you sit to think about it, banning a book often just makes the children want to go and read it and find out exactly why it is banned in the first place.
The First Amendment gives us our right to free speech, which includes the right to read and write books that may be too violent, offensive or hateful for others. The law states that the one wanting to remove said book(s) has to have an inquiry made of the motivation and intentions for wanting the removal. Justice William Brennan reasoned that the First Amendment right to express ideas must be supported by an implied right to receive information and ideas (Claire Mullally, 2002). The First Amendment of the Constitution protects the students’ rights to know and the teachers’ rights to academic freedom. When banning books, not only is it going against the First Amendment, it is creating a form of censorship. Henry Reichman says that censorship is “the removal, suppression, or restricted circulation of literary, artistic or educational materials…on the grounds that these are morally or otherwise objectionable in light of the standards applied by the censor,” (Sharon Cromwell, 2005).
While the First Amendment gives us the right to...


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...eading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance” (Yarbrough, 2012). The First Amendment protects our rights of free speech, but people do not respect that and challenge it. Book banning violates academic freedom and diversity of thought, but some think it is wrong for children to learn about sex, and slavery. While book banning discourages creativeness and critical thinking, libraries have the right to remove a book if it is put on the banned list. So think about how you feel about books and what they mean to you. I love books and hate the fact that one would ever be removed from a shelf, no matter how “inappropriate” people may think they are. So, again, think about it from a reader’s point of view on how book banning IS against our First Amendment, how it DOES restrict learning, and how it DOES discourage children’s creativeness and their critical thinking.

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