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Is Banning Literature a Step Toward Equity in Education? Or a Step Backward?


The end of September is typically recognized as Banned Book Week. And recently, social media has been in an uproar over a school district pulling To Kill a Mockingbird off their school reading list due to offensive language. (In the late 1960s, this Pulitzer Winning Book was removed from some libraries do to explicit sexual content.) 

Unfortunately, the impact of censoring student's reading causes significant problems both  in gaps of knowledge and limited world view. But how do you select books? And why is it important to include diversity and equity in the materials our students are reading? 

Literature can be a great bridge for our learners. It can create a broader worldview and expose students to new ideas. 

How do you use literature with your students? And can you use the discussion about to Kill a Mockingbird to introduce classroom discussions about diversity in literature? Should we pull books off of required readings if people find the book offensive? Ultimately, if our goal is to prepare students for higher education, then how can we do that if we are not exposing them to different ideas? 

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts. 
​Kathy Tracey