To Kill A Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, and Huckleberry Finn: This list sounds like a classic reading assignment, but these are actually some of the most banned books in America. The debate hits home in Aiken, where what a teacher was calling a classic, parents called pornography.
Ender's Game, a young adult book called "superb" by the American Library Association. The book is about an intergalactic battle, but it launched a real-life battle in Aiken Public schools. In March 2012 a parent filed a police report alleging a teacher in Aiken was reading "pornography"; other parents were also enraged:
"He told me they were talking about aliens and prostitutes and there was bad words like um, they talked about bruised testicles," one parent told WJBF in March 2012.
The other book that had them so upset? An Agatha Christie novel, Curtain. The teacher was placed on administrative leave; but was not charged.
The incident raises a question of when a book should be banned.
"These are powerful books, thus ripe for banning," GRU English Professor Dr. Walter Evans says, "who wants to ban a book nobody reads."
To Kill A Mockingbird for example, has the "N" word and racism, but some say it also has a lot to teach us.
"It was horrendous, but if you don't grow up as an American citizen and understand that that reality existed, this happened, and it damaged lives, then you're not getting the kind of education you need," Evans says.
"It was something they have to learn, it was part of it," Aiken County parent Cheryl Wren says.
Parents and that English professor agree there are some things kids can't understand, but they say don't judge a book by its cover.
"You could read Cinderella and get negative effects if you feel like you're not pretty and people think you're the ugly stepsister," Evans says.
While some things may not be age appropriate, he says the answer isn't banning books:
Instead he says parents should talk to their kids about what they're reading, and if anything worry more about what they're watching:
"You can ban a book from the school library," Evans says, "but any kid with a clicker can find something 1,000 times worse on television."
For a list of banned books, click here.
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