1. I do not agree that parent have the right to have certain books banned within the school. I do feel that if they strongly believe that a book like Harry Potter is one that they don't want there child reading then they could have the library ban it from being checked out by that certain individual. That would be a smarter way to exercise their right to what there child reads. Controversial website state that Harry Potter is all about witchcraft and wizardry and how that can influence kids to go down a wrong path. I'm not an expert on the bible, but I do know that it as well talks about the same issues. So I'm wondering if the parents who are so against the series, what else they are against. For myself, Harry Potter widened my imagination, and I'm sure it did this for a lot of people as well. Sometimes I would harmlessly wave a twig in the air and try to do a spell. None of the worked obviously and it didn't harm anyone. As for banning these books in school's I do not think that will solve any problem. Just a simple solution of parent's either talking to there children about books they don't want to read or asking the librarian to not let there child check out the certain book would work best and cause less issues.
2. Parents should, for better or worse have some say in what material their children should read. There have been many books throughout history that have been banned for one reason or another. They should at the very least be involved in what books their children will be introduced to. And, they should have an active relationship with the school and not be surprised at the last minute when confronted by material found offensive, or inappropriate. Books have been banned due to themes found in them such as witchcraft, profanity, racism, overt and covert sexual content. Some books have been banned for portraying groups, and organizations in a negative light. Parents should also take into consideration why the school chose that book in the first place. Judy Blume had experienced her own books to be banned from schools to her dismay. However, she found it surprising that anyone would ban harry potter. regardless, the choice is still with the parents and they must be open and realize that any perceived offensive material is for the most part unintended and only incidental to the story. It is not meant to indoctrinate. To serve as an extreme and ridiculous example of censorship, consider that of all the books in the world to be controversial, the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary was banned from classrooms in California due to a parent finding the definition of oral sex.
3. The weight of making decisions for a child is on the shoulders of the child's parents, because of this, the parents have every right to make decisions about the child's reading material. It is up to the parents to make decisions about a child's health, extra curricular activities, and even schools they attend. Parents are held responsible by society for how their children act and how their children turn out. Teachers and school systems hold a small amount of this responsibility as well, but most of this responsibility is for the parents to bear. On another note, there are standards that need to be met in the child's education. These standards lead to teachers becoming creative and utilizing different reading materials to not only meet the standards set for them, but also keep the attention of the children in the classroom. There should be a set of guidelines given to teachers, the do's and don'ts of choosing the reading material. On top of this, parents should be given a list of all books that will be read for the year at the end of the year before. This would allow parents to see the reading materials so they can make informed decisions about any books that may be read and also takes the pressure off of the teachers by letting the parents know in advance. If a book is seen as something that only one or two parents do not agree with, then an alternate plan should be made for those children. Let us talk about labs in science as an example. Science classes offer various labs that will have the children perform acts such as cutting a frog open. Some parents and students disagree with this. So the teachers have alternate projects for those students, but the rest of the class still goes through with the lab. The same thing should be done if only a small amount of parents feel negatively about a book. If many of the parents feel that a book is not appropriate, than the summer break allows them time to file their complaints and the teacher will then have time to change the book plan to a different book. These are easy solutions that allow the parents, who hold the most responsibility for the children, to have control and make decisions about what their children read in school.
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