Banned Book Week At FGS

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By Peter Murphy ’24

The school year is off to a great start, as students have been learning in classes and competing fiercely on the fields. In the Tisch schoolhouse, however, the Frederick Gunn school librarians decided to put out various banned or challenged books from all over the country on the bulletin board. These books were banned for a variety of reasons from a large number of different states in America. Some of the stories in question that were banned or challenged were books like Captain Underpants, which was banned in Michigan elementary schools for the use of explicit language, nudity, and because one of the main characters in the story was homosexual. The Harry Potter series was banned in Texas public schools from 2001-2002 because of the use of witchcraft, which upset that particular school board. The story Huckleberry Finn was banned in Concord, Massachusetts school system and libraries because it was deemed to be “trash” and “only suitable for slums.” To learn more about these banned books on the Tisch library bulletin board, the Highlander newspaper had the opportunity to set up a very special interview with Highlander librarians Mrs. Conlan and Ms. Dest about the banned book week. Mrs. Conlan elaborated on the week of banned books by saying. “We celebrate Banned Book Week every year as the American Library Association sponsors it to bring light to censorship, hidden information, and to allow students to have intellectual freedom. We get to acknowledge what books are challenged, which leads to conversations about why they become banned.” Ms. Dest, in her first year at Gunn, believes the week is instrumental in helping kids learn about latent and direct forms of censorship. “This week, we will try to encourage students and faculty to read these books, which can initiate conversations about censorship or freedom.” Banned Book Week at FGS has been consistently done over the years to educate the community about what has been challenged and banned in our world. With many different social views and opinions outside the walls of our school, students get to learn more about how others react to these viewpoints by challenging a book to be banned from their local library.

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