The Debate of Banned Books
Story & Photo by Abbey Eurritt – Staff Reporter
In the LSR7 district, the school board’s policy regarding books offered in the libraries gives them the power to decide which books students can and cannot read. Any citizen of the LSR7 district has the authority to personally challenge a book in the libraries for a multitude of reasons.
“Historically, challenges usually cite language or sexual content as the reason for the challenge. In the last several years, challenges have cited LGBTQIA+ content and political views more frequently,” Nathan Miller, librarian, said.
As years have passed, LSR7 citizen arguments have risen regarding the books being challenged. Many people believe that the censored topics being challenged deserve to have a place in school libraries for students’ further education.
“Banning books takes away the right to read what you want to read. If your parents are uncomfortable with a certain book or topic, I ask that students are respectful in their reading choices. But I also believe that reading and learning about uncomfortable topics is a way for us to learn, grow, and change. Knowledge is power, and I don’t believe that any group has the right to dictate what other people can or can not read,” Leza Palguta, English teacher, said.
Throughout the world, many school libraries have been affected by the policy of banning books, but fortunately, LSN has not had a book removed from the library yet.
“A book has never been removed from the LSN Library by the LSR7 Board of Education. The last book removal in a high school library in Lee’s Summit occurred in the early 1990s,” Miller said.
With the increase of banned books in school libraries around the world, students’ reading has become more limited in the last few years. Advocates of the debate have voiced their opinions regarding students’ reading rights.
“We want to provide students with a diverse range of literature, and we believe they are able to choose what is right for them individually,” Miller said.
As more libraries and students are affected by books being banned, countless people have continued to advocate for the right to choose books freely.