Earlier this week, a southwest Missouri school board voted to ban two books from curriculum because a parent complained that the books’ content promoted ideas contrary to the Bible, but officials say their decision was based mainly on age-appropriateness. Officials at Republic High School banned Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five because of crude language and adult themes. They similarly nixed Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer for sexual promiscuity, drunkenness, crude language and lying to parents, according to a recent article by The Associated Press.
Also in question was Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, which includes a description of a rape. Board members, however, allowed the book to remain in classrooms because of its strong message.
Opponents of a ban on certain books claim it’s a form of censorship, but banning books is nothing new. Here’s a list of other well-known books that have been banned:
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Commonly challenged in school curriculum because of its use of a racial slur, the New York City Board of Education banned Twain’s classic from elementary and junior high schools in 1957. A Waukegan, Ill. school district banned the book entirely in 1984. The book has earned attention this year after publishers decided to replace a word in new editions.
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
In 1986, a school board in Graves County, Ken., banned Faulkner’s tale of a grim and darkly humorous journey through the South because of questionable references to God and abortion and offensive language.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Administrators at a Tulsa, Okla., high school banned the book from classroom curriculum in 1960 after firing a teacher for using it in his 11th-grade class. In Columbus, Ohio, administrators deemed the book “anti-white,” and one library banned it for containing vulgar language, sexual scenes, violence and other questionable moral issues.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The parent of a student at West Marion High School in Mississippi complained about the language in Bradbury’s book about banning books. Administrators removed the book from the school’s reading list in 1998.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Kansas City and St. Louis were just two of the cities with libraries or schools that banned this book in 1939. People at the East St. Louis, Ill. library even set fire to some copies.
What do you think about banning certain books from public school curriculum? It is necessary to ensure that content is appropriate and not negatively influencing today’s students? Or is it an unnecessary form of censorship in education?
- How do you do? Say hello to the new book editors.
- Secret Ingredient cookbook benefits food bank’s Buddy Packs program
- William Trowbridge, Missouri’s Poet Laureate, to speak at MU
- Review: Friends Like Us by Lauren Fox
- Responding to Roger Ebert: Schindler’s List review
- Spend Less, Eat Well: Apple/Banana pancakes
Add Widgets (Content Sidebar)
This is your Content Sidebar. Edit this content that appears here in the widgets panel by adding or removing widgets in the Content Sidebar area.
Like Vox on Facebook
- Kendyl on The unfortunately large world of inappropriate selfies
- Jc on The unfortunately large world of inappropriate selfies
- Julie kelly on The CoMo Cookbook: Geisha Sushi Bar
- Amber Archer on Piper Kerman, author of “Orange is the New Black,” came to Mizzou, talked about prisons
- coemone on Book Review: The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories