In 10th grade I wrote a pro/cons speech about censorship. Since books had always been a strong part of me it felt right that I should talk about the good and the bad. Though the main argument is that there is no reason for it. If the students don’t want to read it then they won’t. If parents don’t want their kids to read a book then they will keep their kids away from it. Which could still be a problem. If there is a book with rape or with racial issues and a student is going through that then who are we to keep them away from one thing they may connect to. One thing they can seek and find comfort and understanding with. I do understand some parents keeping their kids a little sheltered. I grew up a little sheltered, and looking back I understand some of the reasons my parents didn’t want me reading certain things. Though I didn’t go through anything difficult that would have caused me to need to read those books. This can be seen as self-censorship though. I kept myself in my comfortable little box. I never reached out to try to look at the world in a different light. I do have a hard time reading the books with themes of rape, or child abuse. It is just uncomfortable to me. I know people who have gone through both of those things, and don’t wish to think too much about what they went through. I know it sounds like I am putting blinders on, but it isn’t that I am pretending it doesn’t exist it just isn’t in my comfort zone.
I think it will be important for my students to read books that make them uncomfortable. How can we learn about the world, and other people’s views if we choose to not look at diversity. Though I won’t push what they truly don’t want to read or what their parents don’t want them to read. I know I waited to watch certain movies because it wasn’t allowed until it was my choice. I am very comfortable reading fantasy. Though I have come to realize I really need to get outside of my comfort zone with reading because I need to be able to help my students get out of theirs, and also to help them with any issues they may have.