Censorship For Teenagers Essay

1636 words - 7 pages

Censorship for Teenagers

Kathryn Criswell

Western Governors University

I. Censorship for Teenagers

a. Is censorship dangerous to the development of our children? Censorship is a concern for parents, schools, librarians, and school administrators. Public education is vital to the future of society. Students must be allowed to develop the spirit of independent intellectual thinking and be exposed to a variety of conflicting ideas, images and viewpoints, in return giving them the knowledge to make the best choices in life (Reichman, 2001).
b. Should parents censor what books their children read? Research suggests that censorship can ...view middle of the document...

Many parents worry about their children reading literature about sensitive topics such as sex, violence, religion, language, and racism. This leads to censorship of literature in high school which hurts their children more in the long run. Censorship can stunt children’s ability to understand societal issues and the information to make decisions rationally and logically (Reichman, 2001). Reading about these issues encourages them to think about them more in-depth. Books can lead to increased awareness of the world and things that could happen in everyday life. Based on a survey in 2004, young people should have the freedom to read and consider a wider range of ideas and have access to a variety of resources to help them develop critical thinking skills (McNicol, 2006). Young people need to be able to choose freely from a range of viewpoints on debated subjects (McNicol, 2006). Censorship can lead to a narrow worldview with holes in the cultural and international education of our children and provides no framework for them to understand other religions, cultures and beliefs (www.lifescript.com).
b. In a focus group of varying teenagers, a question was asked about the power of books; several commented that reading could enlighten your thoughts on a subject and may change your opinion (McNicol, 2006). The question was also asked about the value of books with difficult issues and many felt that being censored has a negative impact because it does not aid advancement in life and prevents one from developing, both educationally and socially (McNicol,2006). Reading educates people about the difficult issues they may encounter in life and how best to deal with those issues. Young children who grow up without education about sex will have no knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases and birth control, other than what they learn from their friends (www.lifescript.com[->0]). A parent wants to keep controversial subjects in the forefront of their child’s development. One would rather their children feel comfortable approaching their parents when they want answers or feel they are able to discuss their opinions about varying issues in life.
III. Conclusion
a. Should parents censor what their children read? Parents need to be aware of what their children are reading and offer guidance to any questions they may have. They need to be aware of the negative impact of censorship, as it limits young people in their ability to understand societal issues and the knowledge to make up their own minds. Teenagers need to get to a point in life where they have the confidence and knowledge to make decisions on their own. Research suggests students want the right to decide what books they read but would value parental guidance and the freedom to discuss these books openly with their parents (McNicol, 2006).
b. The impact of censorship is detrimental to the growth and development of today’s youth. They need to be made aware and experience the difficult...

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