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The Student News Site of Lampasas High School

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Opinion: Book Banning Discriminates Against People of Color, LGBTQ, Religious Communities

Juliet Cardona
Schools across the state have banned books to discriminate against people who do not share similar beliefs or qualities.

From July 1, 2022 to June 31, 2023, 3,362 books were banned in U.S. public school libraries according to PEN America.

While vulgar and non educational books should be banned from schools, the act should not be used to discriminate against communities. 

In 2023, House Bill 900 (HB900) was taken to court as an attempt to create a book rating system. On Jan. 17, the Fifth Circuit Court confirmed their take on the Book Ban Law and rendered it unconstitutional as it takes away the freedom of speech. 

However, schools in Texas have gone so far as to ban books to target people of color, LGBTQ and religion. 

According to The Texas Tribune, Friendswood Christian School canceled their Scholastic Book Fair due to promotion of LGBTQ themes. The school claimed they had different beliefs and values, especially when exposing children to “adult topics.” The Granbury Independent School District was investigated after the superintendent told librarians to remove LGBTQ themed books. In 2022, Texas had the most attempted and banned books in a report from the American Library Association. 

Raina Telgemeier published the graphic novel Drama in 2012 which was recommended for ages 10 and higher. It depicts an eighth grade girl who befriends two twins. The twins come out as gay and another character is hinted at being bisexual. There are people who argue a warning should have been placed on the book because of the romance and shared kiss between two boys. A scene with a couple making out is also within the graphic novel, though it is not as explicit as people may state. Drama became a controversial book in 2017 due to the LGBTQ depiction and “explicit” scenes. However, children are continuously exposed to romance, whether it be through parental figures or peers, so two boys kissing should not be an issue nor the reason to ban a book. Children at the age of 10 are involving themselves in different ways of thinking as they approach middle school and there is no harm in showing growing adolescents that love can come in different forms. 

Harry Potter is a widely known book about a young wizard and has been banned across the state of Texas for religious reasons. Christian schools have removed access to this book series in their library due to the aspect of witchcraft in the writing. The idea of witchcraft comes from the religion of Paganism which revolves around nature and Celtic traditions. These traditions and rituals are far from what is considered to be “evil” or “Satanic”. Paganism is just one of many religions and it is ignorant to assume harmful tendencies are being done because of the lack of research. Harry Potter is a fantasy novel which includes magical features and details to induce the creative mind of adolescents and should not be taken away.

Explicit books, especially in elementary and middle schools, should be revoked and banned. Though, as the child grows older, these books should not be extensively rescinded. Students are bound to figure out how the real world works, so there is no reason to ban books that introduce these parts of life.

Texas’ book banning has gotten out of control. Schools across the state have used this to their advantage to discriminate against people who do not share similar beliefs or qualities. While this is wrong to do, there are some books that should be banned for the safety of younger children. High school students who are maturing should not be given the same treatment as young children. Teens are only a few years from becoming adults.

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