Letter to the Editor: Book banning a dangerous game | Letters To Editor

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To the Editor,

In 1980, author Barbara Tuchman in her address to the Library of Congress stated “without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, civilization would have been impossible.” 

The banning of books can take us down a rabbit hole that will be difficult to crawl out of. When books that earned a Newberry Award for literature excellence are being banned, it fosters a great concern that all of us should pay attention to. These individual books are not close to being similar to the ideas of critical race theory. The latter is involved in ongoing lessons — in some cases workshops — with extensive lesson plans and activities that continually stresses one theme: hatred and victimization. If there is a singular book related to it, trust me, it won’t win a Newberry Award. 

That being said, there may be books that when looked at may not fit the growth and development of children in kindergarten through fifth grade. However, it should not mean that these books should be discarded and not seen in the libraries of our middle and high schools. 

Moms for Liberty and any other group should not take the place of what we as parents can and should decide what we wish our children to be exposed to. Nor should the excuse be used that such exposure can take place in the home only, because we remove the ideas of shared thought and discussion. Once we allow such groups to be our conscience, their influence gains momentum. Each success in a book ban fosters further books to be removed from the library shelves. 

The article in the Herald about Freedom Middle School showed how books can be used positively throughout the student body. In a district I worked in, a parent had the right to question a specific book that was part of the literature curriculum. The district had in place that if a book was objectionable, the student can choose another book from a given list, read it and then complete the activities assigned to all students. Books were not banned, just an alternative was given. 

Again, I urge all of you, pay attention as to who is running for a school board position and groups that want to decide for you what is right for your children to learn. Let them know that you gladly take that responsibility. 

Ed Wagner

Spring Hill

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