Banned Books Spreading Across Texas


Graphic provided by 1517

Graphic provided by 1517.

Hope Nguyen, Staff Writer

Recently, school boards across Texas are receiving requests from parents to remove certain books from school libraries. Strangely enough, the majority of books targeted involve in their pages stories that deal with themes of sexuality, race, and emphasis on the LGBTQ+ community. Many of the targeted books are written by predominantly women, people of color or LGBTQ+ authors. Currently, some schools are in the process of removing such books off their shelves and others are being reviewed for their content. 

Why is there a sudden surge of books being banned across the country? Is it a good or a bad thing? And how should one approach the topic of banning books in general? 

“I feel like banning books in general is kind of dumb,” said senior Nicholas Powell. “Unless it’s very specifically promoting murder or something like Nazis and spreading hatred.”

Parents may not want their kids growing up and absorbing what they believe to be bad messages in the stories they read, as it has been proven time and time again books have quite an influence on the way people think and behave.

Senior Abby Shockley said, “I feel like books really shouldn’t be banned because people should be able to read things they want.”

It’s a common that adults advocating for certain books to be banned typically express that the targeted books in question contain graphic violence, is sexually explicit, or includes offensive language. However, often books are important learning tools to help kids empathize with their peers, and provide insight in situations people might not consider, as well as show representation for a small group or organization, especially marginalized communities.

When asked what could be the motive behind some book bans, Shockley said, “because they have different beliefs from people in the books.”

One of the most common reasons why adults, or specifically parents want a book banned is due to religious or political ideologies that clash with theirs. It is particularly common in states with a majority leaning either far left or far right.

“They’re afraid of what books might [encourage the reader to] do or what they may contain for younger generations,” Powell said.

There are always going to be consequences for kids growing up in states where they ban certain books that parents may not think about.

“I feel like people [in Texas] are not going to know about [other] people’s perspectives and they’ll think the only way to live is to have one religion, be straight, have one gender.” Shockley said.

The less a person is exposed to other cultures, perspectives and sexualities, they may be less tolerant and more disrespectful to it.

“They might grow up more close minded than other people,” said Powell. 

There are of course going to be exceptions to certain books, after all, it’s unlikely that every book is going to spread the right message or only be contained with good morals. There are cases when books undoubtedly should be banned.

“I believe that [only] certain books should be banned, ones that spread dangerous ideologies,” Powell said.

Human minds, especially young ones, are naive and can be susceptible to bad influence. In that case, some light regulation or making sure people are reading stories that don’t spread harmful ways of thinking should be permitted.

“Books should be banned if they’re promoting Hitler or communism or death to an entire race or violent stuff,” Shockley said.

Many people regardless if they’re living in Texas or not disagree with Texas’ government course of action.

I feel like the state shouldn’t have the power to ban books,” Shockley said. “Only people who work in schools should [be able to].”

“I feel like as long as the book isn’t explicitly sexual or show anything sexual [for books in schools] it should be fine,” Powell said. “There isn’t anything wrong with gay characters or sexual content outside of that though.”

There are already many people protesting online about Texas’ book bans.