Censorship : Its Restriction On Minds

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Censorship: Its Restriction on Minds as Well as Materials Books are some of the most powerful tools in education. They contain knowledge, thoughts, beliefs, wisdom, and insight. When these valuable instruments of learning are taken away, the results can be detrimental. Censoring is an age-old tactic used to control the thoughts and actions of people. Today, it poses one of the largest threats to learning. The censorship of books in America’s schools must be avoided due to its violation of the First Amendment, its restrictions on student’s critical thinking abilities, and its negative effects on learning. As long as there have been people with power over others, there has been censorship. The act of censoring has been present for…show more content…
The founders of the United States wrote protections into the Constitution and established the government in such a way as to prevent tyrannical leaders from censoring others’ viewpoints. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”. This amendment guarantees free speech, and censorship is a direct violation of the First Amendment rights promised in the Constitution. There will inevitably be issues of controversy among people and stances that the majority finds incorrect. However, the purpose of the First Amendment is to give everyone the opportunity to speak his or her ideas and opinions, no matter how controversial. While addressing the legality of censorship, many censors argue that it is the responsibility of the government to protect and preserve the safety of the nation’s youth, and this responsibility trumps students’ First Amendment rights. However, the U.S. Supreme Court formally recognizes that “students do not ‘shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate’” (Chmara 18). It has been established that the First Amendment not only guarantees the right to free speech, but also the freedom to receive information and the right to read. However, it is true that minors’ rights are not equal to that of adults. Because of this, schools do have restrictions, but the courts have established that book censorship can only occur in two circumstances. According to
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