There is an epidemic in our country, and it is spreading quickly. Its symptoms can be found in every town, city and even schools across the country. No, this epidemic is not AIDS or cancer: however, if avoided, its long term effects could be just as damaging.
As a society we want our young people to be literate, thoughtful, and caring human beings; however, we also attempt to control what they read, think, and care about. Our schools are supposed to be places where intellectual stimulation and discussion take place, where people come together to discuss and debate serious (and not-so-serious) issues to gather a better understanding of themselves, one another, and the world in which they live. This is why censorship of academic materials must be prevented. No group has the right to impose its ideas of politics, morality, or religion to an impressionable group of students who hold the right to inform themselves on all subjects and to exercise their own sense of reason.
School administrators who have chosen to disregard the concept of "freedom of speech" are robbing their students of some valuable lessons. Many students' experiences with self-expression have been developed under the magnifying glass of school regulations, which dictate what is and is not acceptable. Students need to be encouraged to experience and challenge all ideas in our society even if it means hearing things that are unpopular or go against school policy.
There are many rationalizations used by people to promote censorship. Thefirst explanation is that ideas presented are "false" and/or "dangerous" by standards of the authorities and so they must be suppressed or punished. The second is that the minds of those who would be subjected to the censored ideas are not capable of seeing the "falsity" and would hence be led astray (Alpert 10). The most challenged books deal with the following subjects: sex, feminism, …

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