Editorial: Reading into your actions


Banning books suppresses awareness of societal issues. The Editorial Board thanks the Glenbrook North Library and the Northbrook Public Library for promoting the freedom to read. Graphic by Kaitlyn Lu

Books including “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” “The Hate U Give,” “This Book Is Gay” and “All Boys Aren’t Blue” are being banned across the country. These stories, most of which focus on racial and gender issues, are being removed from libraries and schools.

Throughout the country, school and library boards are banning books because of concerns raised by community members regarding content. These perpetrators’ actions imply that if the book’s content violates their personal beliefs, the book should be banned.

Book banning is used by those in power to disenfranchise targeted groups and censor structural inequalities. Real experiences and stories are invalidated and erased when certain books are banned. Students lose the ability to see themselves in stories. Characters and plots are being torn up and thrown away. Marginalized youth are silenced. 

Books banned in other communities are available at our school and at the Northbrook Public Library. We thank the Glenbrook North Library and the Northbrook Public Library for supporting the freedom to read by making books banned elsewhere accessible to readers. However, attitudes of entitlement relating to book banning are not far removed from our community. 

Banning books suppresses and censors the ideas of others, ultimately displaying an attitude of power, superiority and entitlement. While we are fortunate to have libraries that fight off attempts to ban books in our community, we do face acts of entitlement from students at GBN who seem to think they are superior to others.

Students scatter trash throughout the school. Drivers cut off others in the parking lot. Students skip the checkout line in the cafeteria. These examples are far from uncommon throughout the school. When students display entitled behaviors, it ultimately creates a toxic environment for everyone else. 

Your actions and attitudes are not superior. Stop ripping apart other ideas and voices.