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QUESTION:

I am doing a research paper on the opposing viewpoints of censorship for my AP Eng. class. Have any of your books been censored? What is your opinion on censorship in public schools? Any other feedback would be great.

-- Submitted Anonymously

OSC REPLIES: - January 29, 2003

I am very much in favor of adults exercising reasonable control over what is available in school libraries and what is required reading in school classes. As long as a book is available through bookstores and regular libraries, all that banning a book at school does is make it more attractive to kids. It's usually a self-defeating procedure. I think some of the reasons people censor - both leftwing and rightwing censors - are silly or offensive, but in the long run they do little harm and mostly just expose themselves as idiots. However, it's worth pointing out that most of the hardline would-be censors these days are from the politically-correct left, and it's ironic that they claim to be pro-freedom and pro-choice on a lot of issues - but have no hesitation about banning books that don't reflect their point of view (i.e., that have forbidden words or show religious faith favorably).

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