Scholastic Censorship: Stifling Intellectual Growth

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A child’s learning process initiates the minute they enter the world. Beginning as early as the first seconds, a child learns through observation, identifying, processing and analyzing the details of the surrounding environment. They carefully watch and listen, slowly piecing together every image, sound and interaction. These pieces then serve as clues, defining socially accepted and expected behavior. Children process basic human relationships and the world around them not only through first person experience, but also through modern cultural occurrences such as television, internet and literature. It is crucial for young children to witness both the positive, as well as the negative aspects of society, so they can form ideas and opinions which will guide them as adults. A scholastic education provides an outlet for children to explore, test and reject or accept these thoughts. As parents paranoia rises, in hopes of protecting their children’s innocence in a mature world, many schools, public and private, have begun to censor student’s literature selection, internet usage and free speech in student publications. However, by censoring scholastic literature and internet exploration, as well as student’s ability to publish their personal thoughts, schools are restricting student’s social and mental abilities during the most influential and impressionable stage of their development. The term "censorship" originates from the Latin censere, "to give as one's opinion, to assess" (Culture Shock: Who Decides? How and Why?: Definitions of Censorship). In contrast to this seemingly simple definition, contemporary usage offers no agreed-upon definition of the term or its' appropriate usage, most specifically concerning the highly conteste... ... middle of paper ... ...ehr, S.. "Literacy, Literature, and Censorship: The High Cost of No Child Left Behind. " Childhood Education 87.1 (2010): 25-34. Career and Technical Education, ProQuest. Web. 6 Dec. 2011. Maycock, A.. (2011). Issues and Trends in Intellectual Freedom for Teacher Librarians: Where We've Come From and Where We're Heading. Teacher Librarian, 39(1), 8-12. Retrieved December 6, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 2505611051). Simmons, John S., and Eliza T. Dresang. School Censorship in the 21st Century: a Guide for Teachers and School Library Media Specialists. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2001. Print. Taylor, Stuart Jr. "Court Hears School Censorship Case - New York Times." The New York Times 14 Oct. 1987. The New York Times. Web. 06 Dec. 2011. .

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