Book bans limit our intellectual freedom

We have been told that knowledge is power. We have been taught to value education, encouraged to become avid readers and also to know about our rights and freedoms. We are growing up in an ever changing world and in a generation that embraces diversity more than ever. But, at the same time, we are watching books being pulled from shelves and our own state threatening to pull funding from public libraries.
According to, as of November 18, 2022, districts in Missouri had removed – either temporarily or permanently – almost 300 books from school libraries. This is due to legislation (Senate Bill 775) that makes it a crime for librarians or teachers to provide “sexually explicit material.” This would be a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. This law was written to help protect people who have been sexually assaulted, but this particular amendment applies to visual materials in school libraries. As a result, schools have removed books out of fear. While the provision provides an exception for works with serious artistic or scientific significance, even books about the Holocaust, including the graphic novel, Maus, and works about artists including Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo have been banned in some Missouri schools.
Warsaw schools have not escaped book banning. While only a few titles have been pulled, students should be worried about what materials might continue to disappear. The start of state-wide book banning can be a slippery slope to a more severe limit of intellectual freedom.
It is important to know about those situations that might be considered the harsh realities of the world so that we are not completely lost. This attempt to protect children from material that adults have deemed inappropriate can also limit access to important issues, ideas and historical facts and is in violation of a students’ rights.
There are so many good books that are being banned that help students see the world for what it is and help us realize that everyone is different. Students can relate to the material and it can help them feel like they aren’t alone and that someone else has gone through something similar that they’ve gone through.
Many kids have been sheltered from what has happened in the world. They truly don’t understand what has really happened in the past, they only know what their parents or guardians have told them. By being able to read what you want, it helps build your own opinion on a certain topic.
A philosopher named George Santayana once said, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” That’s exactly what is going to happen if we keep banning books. If you protect us from the horrors of this world, how will we ever change it?