The issue of censorship in schools presents a conflict with the right to protect children from offensive material and the right to express ones self freely. "In the United States, the issue of censorship is approached from the standpoint of the first amendment protection provided in within the Bill of Rights- (Baker 263). However, I cannot argue that the first amendment should be reason enough to stop censorship because the underlying moral principles must be considered. It's common sense that young children in elementary school should not be exposed to certain ideas because they cannot comprehend them. High school students, on the other hand, should have the opportunity to be exposed to all ideas that are expressed in literature. .
"Censorship is a type of interference that occurs whenever someone intentionally alters, eliminates a part of, or completely bans a material that is claimed to be objectionable- (263). Censorship is a way of denying people of the ideas of another. In high schools all over the country certain books have been banned due to the inappropriate nature of their content. "According to the American Library Association, more than 5,000 complaints were recorded at schools over the past ten years. The Catcher in the Rye, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and To Kill a Mockingbird were among the titles adults found most offensive- (Reaves 26). .
Throughout my own high school career I had the privilege of reading all three of these controversial books and to restrict others from reading them is an outrage. These books allow teenagers to expand their minds and their overall outlook on life. Books about racism, sex, drugs, and violence are not meant to provoke the reader; they are meant to enlighten them. They are written to educate young minds. Books that contain such content teach acceptance, empathy, understanding, and reality. Most importantly, such books teach life lessons that help nave minds become more open-minded and realistic.