Banning books doesn’t make the content of those books go away – Chilliwack Progress

The idea of ​​making an effort to ban books is not new. The three people from the Chilliwack Board of Education have both read out-of-context sentences in books stating that they are unsatisfactory for children.

Why are books contested?

Books are challenged or banned for various reasons. Often the challenges seem to be motivated by a desire to protect children or young people from inappropriate language, sexual themes and violence. Regardless of the motivations behind them, I think all of the challenges to banning the books come from a deeply emotional place. A person sees a book with content that goes against their personal beliefs or value system and the knee-jerk reaction is to try to make that book disappear, as if that could also make the ideas it contains disappear . My opinion is that I see such efforts coming more from a place of fear and control than morality.

Books can be challenged for many different reasons, but justification generally falls into one of four categories: political, legal, religious, or moral.

This is where the concept of intellectual freedom comes in. Part of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right of Canadians to read what they want. This idea is at the heart of the functioning of libraries.

The Canadian Library Association which states that “libraries provide, defend and promote equitable access to the widest possible variety of expressive content and resist calls for censorship”.

Simply put, it is up to libraries to make a variety of materials available to everyone, even if those materials are considered unconventional, unpopular, or unacceptable to some. School libraries have no choice but to follow the Charter.

Every year, Canadian libraries celebrate this idea with “Freedom to Read,” where people are encouraged to read materials that have been challenged or banned. Freedom to Read Week, which is usually celebrated during the last week of September, is another event that emphasizes everyone’s right to read. At the very least, any effort to remove, challenge, or attempt to ban books is in fact a violation of the rights and privileges of students and adults under the Canadian Charter of Rights.

It doesn’t matter if you’re nine or 90, we all have the right to read any available book.

Jack Kopstein

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Colin L. Johnson