On 9/29/16, Students and faculty stood up together against censorship by reading for The Banned Books Week put on by Hatem Akil, Director, Read to Succeed QEP, had their Read Aloud Chain. Everyone was invited to read from a banned book for 5-15 minutes to have an chain for 8 hours.
Tyanna Watts, Student, was heard reading banned book “Looking for Alaska” during the Read-Aloud. After her reading I got to speak to her. She said “I think reading is really cool and people should do it more. It increases intelligence that you don’t pick up in general conversation and increases imagination.“
I asked Tyanna how she felt about censorship on books and she replied “Censorship on books shouldn’t be a thing because it’s the only way to get exclusive content. It’s not like TV or the internet. Books provide deeper meaning than things you’ve never seen before.”
“Looking for Alaska”, by John Greene was in the top ten challenged books of 2015 for being sexually explicit, having offensive language, and drugs, alcohol, and smoking.
Bobbie Bell, Acting and Humanities Professor of SCC was also seen wear an T-shirt that read “I Will Not Be Silenced” while reading aloud the banned book “End Game”, by Samuel Beckett. Afterwards I spoke to Mr. Bell and he said “I’m a near absolutist when it comes to freedom of expression.
“I anger the left and the right of the political spectrum. They want to keep people from reading, hearing, or seeing things because they believe they should be the ones telling people what they should see hear or read and that is something up with I will not put!”.
Challenged books come from a list parents, patrons, admins, pressure groups, teachers to government officials. They challenge the public library, school library, and school curriculum for many reason. Some of the most obvious would be sexually explicit, maybe unsuited for an age group, sexual slavery, and promoting perversion. Some of the less obvious reasons include homosexuality, political viewpoints, confuses children, ect.
“I Am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings was challenged because it was unsuited for the age group and the religious view point. “Beyond Magenta” by Susan Kuklin was challenged for religious viewpoint, sex education, homosexuality, offensive, and anti-family. The Holy Bible is on the 2015 top ten challenged books as well for religious view point, along with violence and “illegal”.
These are just a few from the top ten challenged of 2015. Many books were given away during the read aloud on this day, but there was also a speaker that Rachel DiVeta was able to drop in and listen to Dunya Mikhail, professor at Michigan state, speak about banned books.