Article Review : ' Land Of The Free '

1218 WordsDec 8, 20155 Pages
Land of the Free?: Book Censorship in the United States In the eyes of many, America can be summed up in a single word: freedom. However, this freedom Americans often boast of is not as unrestricted as many are led to believe. Book censorship not only impinges on the rights of free speech for young students, but also freedom of the press for authors. Book censorship has been around as long as books themselves have. For example, Socrates, a well-known and respected philosopher and teacher, was forced to drink poison for “corrupting” his students with his unconventional ideas and writings. Today, literature is most often banned due to sexual material, offensive language, racism, political bias, violence, immoral behaviors, religious views…show more content…
amend. I). The central legal controversy regarding book censorship revolves around this amendment. Does the banning of provocative literature fall under the category of freedom of speech and press? According to the 1982 Supreme Court Case Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District v. Pico, an appointed board of parents and school staff requested a removal of all books the Board described as “anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Sem[i]tic, and just plain filthy” (457). The court upheld that the banning of books from school libraries due to unorthodox matter of opinion is unconstitutional. However, this case is just one prominent one among thousands, all nearly identical. This legal aspect provides a more solid argument against book censorship than a morally-based argument. One of the most notorious reasons that parents often have for pushing book censorship upon their children and the school districts deals with conflict of religion. In “Teens Need Bold Books,” Don Gallo, an English professor of twenty years at Central Connecticut State University and experienced editor of short story anthologies for young adults, examines the ties between controversial books and religious beliefs. Many books may have an underlying anti-religious message or certain language or actions may go
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