Banning books is harmful, especially to young adults.  Teenagers are confused by their bodies and by their emotions in high school. Their hormones are on “high alert,” and at the same time they are pulling away from their parents. They end up seeking information from their friends – much of it very wrong. The early teen years are emotionally charged, and sadly, many parents do not discuss emotional and sexual matters with their children.  They end up learning what they want to learn from their friends or books available to them.  Unfortunately, many books that could alleviate some of the emotional distress felt by young people have been banned and not available to them. 

In an article in Lifescript-Healthy Living for Women , Censorship In Schools and the Effects On Our Children, the author makes a valid point about the affects of censorship on children: “While the attempt to keep children pure for as long as possible is admirable, it takes the form of leaving gaping holes in their education, if not  academically, then about life.” Children that are not allowed to read censored books will not see the big picture of the real world.  They will not have the background knowledge needed for future decision making as adults when it comes to such matters as voting for local or federal government officials.  Children that are taught about other cultures and histories as they actually happened, truly have a better worldview than children who have been more sheltered.

In another excellent article, Censorship: The Negative Effects Parents Don’t Know About,  the author directs aim at the effects on high school students, “Censoring literature stunts the student’s ability to understand societal issues, and the students’ ability to discuss their opinions of such issues in their own writings.” I had never even considered the dire ramifications of censorship on the minds of children and young people. These same young people will someday be running our country and the world.  I don’t think we can afford to thwart their ability to see the big picture. Censorship seems like a dangerous game of roulette. 

"witch hunt" BY RUSH - 1981

The night is black
Without a moon
The air is thick and still
The vigilantes gather  on
The lonely torch lit hill
Features distorted in the flickering light
The faces are twisted and grotesque
Silent and stern in the sweltering night
The mob moves like demons possessed
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right
Confident their ways are best
The righteous rise
With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill
They say there are strangers who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness too dangerous
In our theaters and bookstore shelves
That those who know what's best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves
Quick to judge
Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear walk hand in hand...