For little kids... for those of you whose hearts might be pounding away as your blood pressure builds at the headline, calm down a bit and let me explain. The biggest problem we have with this current "book banning" situation is the headlines themselves, they get people worked into a frenzy on both sides. No one wants to take the time to think about a very reasonable position that's pretty much right down the middle. Personally, I think it's fair to both sides of the argument.

First of all the word "ban" is absolutely the wrong word to use. The word should be "edit". Nobody is talking about banning books in the public library or removing them from bookshelves at your favorite store or online or burning them in piles on the street. That is book banning, and that is wrong. This is a free country and we don't do that here.

Photo by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash
Photo by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash
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What we're talking about is removing books from school libraries that have explicit sexuality in them, it doesn't matter if it's straight or gay, or whatever. There is no reason a child of 7 or 8 should be able to pick up a book at school that describes adult sexual situations in great detail, complete with illustrations.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
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The book at the center of the "book banning" controversy these days is by George Matthew Johnson titled “All Boys Aren’t Blue”. If you want your child to read this book that's your choice as a free-thinking American citizen, go buy it. However, in my opinion, there is no viable reason this book should be available in an elementary public school library, and that's exactly where it's been showing up. I promise you, the vast majority of parents would not want a young child to read this or any book this detailed.

All Boy Aren't Blue cover - Amazon
All Boy Aren't Blue cover - Amazon
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I've seen the arguments from the far left, "any book worth banning is a book worth reading", and I agree with that position until you start talking about children. Again, it's not banning, it's editing.

As parents, as adults, our job is to edit what our children consume as best we can. That goes for everything they consume, books, food, video games, all forms of entertainment, you name it, our job is to moderate it. I realize that some parents don't do a very good job of that, I've been guilty myself of not paying close enough attention, nobody is perfect. But it's still our responsibility as adults to try our best to control what our children see and do.

hans isaacson - unsplash
Photo by Hans Isaacson - unsplash
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We're all guilty of not paying close enough attention to what has become available to our kids in school libraries and apparently, there are a few books that have been snuck in there that flat out should not be available in elementary and middle school. As parents, we can't control the rest of the world, but we can sure as heck control what our kids are exposed to in school. If the school board disagrees, then we fire them and put in place one that doesn't. If the school superintendent disagrees, we fire them and get a new one. If the school librarian doesn't like it... you get the point.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
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Ask yourself the following: Would you sit down with your 7-year-old and watch porn? Would you give them a book that has an F-bomb in every sentence or dismembered bodies in the illustrations? I certainly hope not. Remember, giving sexually explicit material to a child is a crime if you or I do it, why would be ok for a school librarian?

Kyle Glenn - unsplash
Photo by Kyle Glenn - unsplash
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Everything in print gets edited, for length, for content, even the Bible, the most revered book in the history of mankind has been edited, whole books were written to be in it and then left out of the version we know today.

Editing is not banning, it's a reasonable position to take to enable our kids to simply be just kids. What do you think?

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