Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Banning books in schools, what’s the controversy over reading? Why ban books at all?   

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. John's chapter.

2022 is starting to look a lot like Fahrenheit 451, with the banning of books across the nation and the inaccessibility of certain titles. 

So, why ban books? Some people believe that books need to be banned because of explicit content which could contain sexuality, gender and race. Now, books are made for certain age groups and split up based on maturity level. This division should be enough to distinguish which books should be read by which audiences. However, for some people, that’s not enough. Many believe that classic titles like To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee and 1984 by George Orwell should be removed from school shelves. Many also believe that newer publications such as The Hate U Give By Angie Thomas and All Boys Aren’t Blue By George M. Johnson should not be allowed because of their “controversial” topics surrounding racial equality, gender and sexuality.  

In America, our Founding Fathers gave us the right to freedom of speech, whether that be in protests or in books. To ban literature because of morality is not a feasible reason to limit what we read. Yes, books can be inappropriate for certain audiences of varying ages, but what is the difference between reading a book and viewing a movie? Yes, movie theaters need you to be at least 16 years old to view an R-rated film in theaters, but what stops them from watching an R-rated movie that’s being aired on television? Books have the same premise. There is always going to be media that people won’t deem appropriate. That is why we should be teaching children in schools about certain topics, and then allow them to be more aware of the subject. This would be better than having children become misinformed.

Educating children in schools about difficult topics allows them to recognize them in their daily lives. Shielding them from the life that goes on outside of school does not benefit them, but makes them ignorant to reality. 


VanDenburgh, B. (2022, September 23). Book bans are on the rise. what are the most banned books and why? USA Today. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2022/06/29/banned-books-explained/7772046001/ 

Kaila Lightburn

St. John's '24

Hello my name is Kaila, I’m a Junior at St. John’s University. I am a Public Relations major with a minor in fashion studies. I am also an ambassador, a mentor and apart of the campus magazine and some of my hobbies include watching movies, hanging with friends and reading!