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Banning Books Has NEVER Been About Protecting Our Children

Tony Retrosi's comments before the Dover School Board on December 12, 2022.

Banning books has never been about protecting our children. It has been about discrimination against others. Banning books from public libraries or schools based on nationalistic, political or religious reasons violates the first amendment. Currently they want you to believe that any book that does not center from a straight white perspective is pornographic.

When a group is trying to get a book banned they find the most explicit passages and recite them out of context.

I too am disturbed by the filth that Americans are reading. Take, for example, a story in which two daughters live alone with their widowed father. They make a pact to get him drunk and trick him into having sex with them, after which they become pregnant and give birth to sons.

I am, of course, paraphrasing from the Bible, specifically genesis 19:33. a book that has been mass-printed since the fifteenth century and relied on as the primary text of all Christian faiths for millennia.

Photo by Yan Krukov

I find it interesting that, in the very place that students should be engaged in challenges to their own thinking in order to grow as learners, some are actively trying to make sure that schools are not able to create opportunities for that thinking?

The very groups who yell so loudly about cancel culture are the same people trying to cancel discussions about ideas that come to us through books?

By restricting information and discouraging freedom of thought, censors undermine one of the primary functions of education: teaching students how to think for themselves.

I think it is important for children to read about these adult situations before they face them in person.

Banning a book from a library or curriculum implies that some ideas and experiences are valuable or worthy of discussion and others are not. It reinforces one particular way of thinking and limits others, which might not accurately reflect the lived realities of youth.

The strength in our society can be found in our diversity. Diversity of people as well as ideas.

There is no gentle way to speak or teach about certain subjects.

  • The Holocaust

  • Pearl Harbor

  • Civil Rights / Lynchings

  • Violent acts

  • 9/11

Students deserve to learn history based on facts not feelings. Some lessons will be hard and make people uncomfortable. But if I have learned anything it is that rarely is any important lesson an easy one.


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