Accuracy in Media

Florida doesn’t ban books. No, no matter what you think you’ve heard, or what people tell you, books are not banned in Florida. Nor are they – except subject to the usual federal laws about terrorism and so on – banned anywhere else.

Again, this is despite what Teen Vogue and all the other woke and progressive outlets try to tell us in a piece headlined, “Best Banned Books by Black Authors, From Toni Morrison to Angie Thomas,” subhead “Check this out.”

There’s a certain logical problem with that idea. If books have been banned, we can’t check them out, can we? There are no secret printing presses, as used to happen in the Soviet Union, producing illegal versions of banned books.

Teen Vogue is suggesting that folk just walk into a bookstore and buy a copy. Or download it online, or even go to the regular public library and borrow a copy. This is all we need to know to prove that no books are being banned.

What is happening is that we all agree that education – in fact, most of life itself – should be age appropriate. The only disagreements are about which age for what? One of the books on that list is “All Boys Aren’t Blue” which contains some pretty graphic descriptions of gay sex. We’re all fine with adults making up their own minds about such things but offering it to 5 years olds is obviously age-inappropriate. Apart from anything else, they will not understand what is going on. Somewhere between 5 and adult is that age-appropriate moment.

This is something that people disagree about. Which is what leads to the books not being banned. Instead, they’re not offered in school. So parents who think their kids either can or should read it can organize that for their own kids. As, depending upon the title, tens of thousands to millions have already done. Something we can check by the sales of those books.

What this also allows is that parents who think their kids are not ready for – say, graphic descriptions of sex – the subject matter don’t have the schools forcing them upon their children. Because these books are not banned, they’re just not in classroom or school libraries.

That the book is not for free in the local public school is not a ban. It’s just that the book is not for free in the local public school.

This is all the same argument as school choice. They’re our children, we get to decide how they are educated. We all agree that all children need to be educated. We all agree on that reading and writing stuff. We don’t all agree on exactly how that should be taught. Nor do we all agree on when it is age appropriate to discuss those more difficult areas of life – sex and so on.

So, the choice between schools about their ways of doing these things, what is to be done at what age. Books in school or classroom libraries are exactly the same thing. There are no bans on books. There are only books that aren’t offered to all children, books that parents decide their kids should have access to. Different parents will have different ideas about this. Some object to “To Kill A Mockingbird” because of the white saviour complex. Others to “All Boys Aren’t Blue” because of the sex. OK, we then have a choice by making those books not part of school but part of home life.

Taking books out of school or classroom libraries is not banning books. It is putting the choice of what children read where it should be – in the hands of those children’s parents.

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