standing letters

Over the last couple of weeks there have been several letters to The Sun addressing the issue of book-banning in school libraries and even in public libraries. I must come down closest to Katherine Rosen’s view — not on the Azzinaro bill (which I, too, have not read), but to the broader position she espouses.

Several of the letter-writers ask, in one way or another, whether we would like our children to be exposed to pornography, obscenity, or hypersexualization. This argumentative device is often used by people on both sides of a disagreement. Cite the most extreme position and then use that to justify a broader concept. But even if we consider pornography, I do not want Mr. Azzinaro, Ms. Capalbo, or Mr. Chiaradio defining for me or my family what is pornographic. I do not want these people, any politician, or any citizen pressuring school boards and other bodies to remove particular books from libraries. I will do what I did when I raised my children, and what I suspect they are doing with their children. I will monitor what they are exposed to and give them the moral and ethical base to evaluate what to do and how to react to the things that cross their path as they grow up. This is what has been done, as far as books are concerned, since Guttenberg invented the printing press.

Most librarians and teachers are trained and experienced in evaluating what our children, and we too, encounter. Those who wish to impose their views and beliefs on me and the rest of the society must not be allowed to do so.

Kenneth M. Robbins


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