Book bans have been around longer than you think. Though currently a hot topic since there are very polarizing sides and opinions about whether or not a book should be banned. Book banning has been happening for longer than you think, the first one taking place in 1637. Book bans evolve through time. There was a time in history when books about evolution were banned, anything that was deemed heretical was banned, and there was even a point in time where to even be allowed to read books you would need a priest’s permission to be able to read books. The first official book ban law was made in 1873 called the Comstock Law which banned books that were deemed “obscene”, at the time the definition of obscene was quite vague. In 1973, a century later, a more specific definition for what should and shouldn’t be banned was added to the bill. This video from The Storied, goes into more detail about the history of book banning.

So why is this a hot topic now, the reasoning is because currently there have been debates about whether or not certain books should or should not be banned in the United States. Florida is one of the states that are pushing more book bans, currently surpassing all of the states with 1,406 book bans. Texas came in second with 625 bans, Missouri with 333 bans, Utah with 281, and Pennsylvania with 186 bans.

The two main points of view are either for banning books, or the opposite, not banning books. The reasoning behind why some people want to ban books is that parents typically want to censor what their children can and cannot read. The argument is that they are trying to protect their children from reading anything sexual, violent, about race, and more.  Groups such as Moms for Liberty are even going as far as offering a $500 reward for anyone who reports a teacher.

 But there is a line to be crossed since banning the book from schools bans it from everyone, and it can push certain views and opinions onto people. Banning books like “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, and “This Book is Gay” by Juno Dawson, are on the list of the top books banned for the 2022-2023 school year. These can be great books for one to understand and explore one’s sexuality and open a person’s mind up to the LGBTQ+ community. There are even books banned that talk about the history of slavery, and segregation that are banned for talking about race. This is why those who are not for banning books are taking this seriously. Some of the topics that are being banned can be important to educating kids about sexuality, sex, and race.

Currently, this issue is still going on, and the debate continues on whether or not book bans should be allowed or not. It’s hard to say whether or not the general public is more for one side versus another side. But from most articles that I have found about the topic it seems as though most people think that some of these book bans are a little over the top.

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