Saturday, October 2, 2010

Why I Won't Be A Censoring Parent

Jami Slack is a YA book blogger that started the blog YA Addict. She loves reading and has a house crammed with all the books you could want. Her blog is one of the best and she does it all while dealing with her husband and two kids. Here is Jami's post:

When I was in third grade, another girl in my class told me a very colorful story involving a boy and a girl. I remember being anxious for the rest of the day to get home and talk to my mom. I have never heard of a boy and a girl doing such a thing, and I wanted to know my mom’s thoughts on it.

My mom flipped out when I told her. She called the school and gave them an ear full. She wanted justice for what happened to my poor little virgin ears. At school, my teachers started acting awkward around me, afraid of what I’ll hear and tell my mom. The girl who told me stopped being my friend. I was hurt and humiliated.

I learned that day that I could never go to my mom for answers again. Because I didn’t go to my mom to talk, I ended up making some pretty stupid mistakes. Looking back now, I know my mom was only trying to look out for me. She was trying to censor me. But that is the problem with censoring; it can do more harm than good.

There is a reason the majority of banned books are for children or young adults. Book Banners are trying to do the same thing that my mom was trying to do, protect the virgin ears. I am still new to the parenting game, but I am learning quickly you don’t have control over when they learn things. Yes, you try to hold on to their innocence as long as possible. But sometimes topics pop up much earlier than you anticipated.

When my kids get to the young adult age, there is not a YA book I wouldn’t allow them to read. I see books as a wonderful opportunity to open up discussion on tough subjects. I am fully aware not every parent would agree with this, and that’s fine. It’s their decision if they want to censor their teens. But when someone tries to ban a book, they are taking away MY rights as a parent. They are taking away my children’s rights to learn. That is something I will not sit down and take.

There is one thing my mom and I have in common. We are both ready to give an ear full. Except in my case, I will be giving an ear full to book banners.

Speak loudly, my friends.


  1. This is a really nice guest post! I like the way you think. ;) Banning, I, too, believe, isn't too good for the development of young minds. It's sort of like when you tell children that something is forbidden, they'll find ways to go about doing it anyway. Children need to grow, need to learn; before they DO make mistakes. REAL ones.

  2. This is a great angle on book banning. I love the story of your mother and what happened to you at school. You have a good point that people just want to look out for their children and they can feel awkward and upset when they're not ready to face certain topics but that's usually a fear of the adult's and shouldn't harm what everone's children can read and learn. Love your post!

  3. Thank you for having me, Jeremy!

  4. Your kids are lucky to have such an open minded mom :)

  5. Jessica, this is a FANTASTIC post! When I'm a parent, I hope to meet book banning with similar resolve! My children, so long as they're reading, may read whatever they desire. Because you're right, it certainly stimulates conversation, particularly when they know you're reading along with them. :)

  6. Good for you for reflecting about what made you a confused, distrusting child and for turning that experience into a positive one for your children. Better that they turn to you for answers than hear false stories from their peers!