Banned books get students’ attention

Banned books week poster in the Glen Rock's Middle/High School Media Center

Photo Credit: nycafs

Banned books week poster in the Glen Rock’s Middle/High School Media Center

by Caroline Griffin

Books you’re reading now might have been banned at one point. Don’t worry, though, you’re not in trouble.

Last week, the high school celebrated ‘Banned Books Week,’ a celebration of books that were once banned but are now on the curriculum.

Banned Books Week is celebrated on the week of September 27 to October 3 every year. This week is accompanied by an annual awareness campaign that appreciates freedom to read.

Books that are against people’s values and morals are more likely to be banned: even those read in school, such as ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ have had parents who don’t find them suitable for school.

“The two books I read for school are not the typical school reads but they aren’t too explicit to keep kids from reading them because most banned books include real life problems. They provide new ways of thinking which could only strengthen and push a students mind and intelligence,” Sophie Ferreri (’18) said.

Glen Rock’s media center has experienced troubles in the past 10 years with one incident regarding the book Sarny by Gary Paulsen. This was due to complaints.

Sarny centers on a literate young girl who was a slave.

Media center specialist, Linda Hartman, was approached regarding this book by a parent about 10 years ago. The parent felt content in the novel was inappropriate: particularly, violence. This book was then scrutinized.

“We had to write up our media center policy about censorship. Then, we had to meet with the principal, including a panel of teachers and the parent whom was opposing it,” Hartman said.

This process eventually prevented the book’s ban. After the parent heard opinions from different perspectives, her thoughts changed and she rescinded her argument.