Literature supression in FCPS

Literature supression in FCPS

Isabella Mariani, Reporter

35 books are at risk of being taken from our libraries at this very moment. 

Literature has always been a core part of our education and many people enjoy it outside of that, but a few complaints are causing books in our schools libraries to be at risk of being removed. Students are also unable to have a voice in the matter. 

These meetings are being shut off to the public and only have 2 student members that (I believe) are non voting members of the boards. 

This is all happening because a member of the board deemed these books as inappropriate for school book shelves saying that these books contain graphic scenes that are not appropriate for children. But this statement feels irrelevant because these books are held within high schools where students witness and experience these things first hand. 

Some of these books are ones that I have on my shelves at home and I have read some of them myself and the content in these books is no worse than what students can access with the chromebooks they are given in school. 

The main point I’m trying to get across here: Why are we sheltering students from real world issues? 

High school students are very close to entering the real world, and while they may still be in school, these issues discussed in literature are things that happen everyday and a reality that students need to understand without it being hidden from them. These are problems that they may experience themselves, and don’t you want them to be exposed to these issues ahead of time instead of being thrown in head first? Unless the content is directly harmful or hateful towards students, why should we be hiding it from them? 

“I think speech hurtful to others should probably be censored because of safety issues and school is a public place but they shouldn’t censor certain things or views on topics unless people are getting hurt by them.” Ava-Grace Lee (10)

This leads to the second point: Why do students get no say in the content in their school? 

Considering that the literature the board is trying to suppress is literature within our schools that affects the access of students, you would presume they could have a voice in the matter, but that would be incorrect. 

Consistently students have no say in matters that happen around them as their opinions are often deemed as unnecessary and unbeneficial but in matters like this, their voices are just as important, if not more, then their adult counterparts. Today’s students are the future of our world and suppressing their voices in topics that matter is not the way to prepare them for obstacles of the real world. 

“It defeats the whole purpose of having it because they are the students and they are the ones being directly affected by it so they should be the ones who are able to vote.” Grace Nelson (11) 

Although these board members may have the students best interest at heart, the realization needs to be made that issues discussed in these books are inevitable for students to encounter, and wouldn’t you rather have it in the form of fiction than first-hand?