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Should schools be able to ban books? Show more Show less
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Hundreds of books have been challenged or banned in schools throughout the US. These books are banned on a huge range of reasons, from obscene language to sexual content to violence to the discussion of menstruation. But all of these things are facts of life. Should academic institutions have the power to censor books?

Yes, schools should be able to ban books Show more Show less

Schools should have the responsibility to regulate reading.
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School books should be banned if they promote hate speech

Hate speech is the public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. School is the place for young adults to get education and should not be manipulated to be a platform to disseminate hate and violence.

Context

Schools must provide access to education on a non-discriminatory basis, prevent harassment that interferes with their educational mission, and socialize students to live and work in a diverse community – and they must do all these things while recognizing that the right of free speech sometimes means the right to say things that are offensive to others. To rise to the level of discrimination, objectionable speech must create a "hostile environment." Under Supreme Court decisions, discrimination occurs only when harassment is so severe, persistent, amd pervasive that it creates a hostile or abusive educational environment and adversely affects a student’s ability to benefit from an education program. Notwithstanding guidelines of the U.S., many schools penalize and suppress speech because it might be offensive to others. On the one hand, this is understandable, as schools strive to socialize students and prepare them to live in a democratic diverse community. Therefore, booking promoting hate speech should be banned.

The Argument

Books that display hate do not have a place in an educational setting. Hate speech can target a group of people based on their concept of religion, race, or gender.[1] Hate speech can encourage readers to agree with their opinions, leading to more hateful thoughts. In an educational setting, it could lead to children acting out in violence based on the content of the book. Schools should prohibit books containing any type of hate speech, so students cannot be motivated to believe or repeat what is being said.[2]

Counter arguments

Restricting books with hate speech is a violation of the First Amendment. People have the right to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression, even if it is opposing another individual or group.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Hate speech does not belong in schools. [P2] Books that promote hate speech should be banned.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] This violates the First Amendment.

References

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/a-hateful-conspiracy-filled-book-just-got-harder-to-buy-thats-no-cause-for-celebration/2019/09/23/9b124716-ddf9-11e9-8dc8-498eabc129a0_story.html
  2. https://qz.com/1550143/does-amazon-sell-neo-nazi-and-white-supremacist-books/

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This page was last edited on Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 12:24 UTC

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