News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

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Summer escapes: Dive into these summer page-turners
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The future of book banning in California

Book banning is a nation-wide protest that removes explicit material from public shelves; how is this issue directly affecting California schools in 2023-2024?
Jasmine Lee
California restricts the spread of book banning, which is taking over the nation, to encourage free speech and education

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — Ever since Sept. 25, 2023, the future of book banning seems settled in California because Governor Newsom took part in signing bill Assembly Bill 1078 to put an end to censorship in California schools.

Since signing this resolution, schools are no longer able to ban books due to controversial material.

Book banning is a form of protest censorship in which organizations, schools, and governments remove books from public shelves due to disapproval over the material’s information, point of view, and/or opinions. Books are often banned due to the exposure to the public on sensitive subjects such as violence, sexuality, and race.

Oftentimes, these institutions fear the harmful effect certain books can have on a young and impressionable audience. Examples of famous banned books such as “The Bluest Eye,” “Maus,” and “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

Opinions are often divided concerning whether or not book banning should remain legal, especially in cases concerning young students. A certain proportion of the population believes that this is an abusive restriction of speech. The other spectrum petitions for the removal of inappropriate material due to the harmful references the books touch on.

“These actions run counter to the shared value of free speech that has informed generations of American progress. They also violate the First Amendment, 14th Amendment, and Title IX rights of all students and educators, with a particularly disproportionate impact on people of color and LGBTQI+ individuals,” says The Center for American Progress.

Through the signing of AB-1078, California schools are forbidden to ever ban material regarding race and sexuality on public shelves. However, this doesn’t prevent any criticism and complaints regarding controversial topics.

Section 1 of AB-1078 says:

“Under California law, California schools must create an equitable learning environment where all pupils, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) pupils and Black, Indigenous, and other pupils of color feel welcome, including through honest discussions of racism, the history of slavery in our society and in California, and the diversity of gender and sexual orientation that reflects the lived reality of those pupils.”

California intends to facilitate the spread of racially diverse materials to be made available to a young generation and wants to allow the even distribution of literature.

This act was a protest against the constant censorship that sweeping the nation,while expanding the availability of diverse material to increase inclusion. In the past year, book banning has rapidly risen in the number of books banned due to parenting groups lobbying for restriction and control over the material made available in schools.

“Book banning was a real problem around the world but it doesn’t tend to affect California as extremely as other states,” said former librarian Nicolas Seo. “Giving young people the opportunity to have access to material that can provide personal relations and connections is essential for discovery and understanding.”

During the 2022-2023 school year, more than 1,500 books have been banned due to a variety of controversial topics. The biggest areas that fall victim to book banning are Texas, Florida, Missouri; many more often ban stories that highlight the struggles of people in minority groups.

In the 2022-2023 school year, in English 2 Honors classes at Los Alamitos High School, students were allowed to choose from a list of books as an assigned free read. One of the books on the list was the widely banned book “Maus,” which contains depictions of violence, discrimination, and mature language.

“I thought reading Maus was something good because I learned a lot of information through a really interesting book,” Ava Lealliie, a junior at Los Al, said. “They did a really good job depicting the struggles of the Jewish during the time of the Nazis. It did show a grueling story, but it was also realistic in what happened. Opening different topics can let us talk about them more comfortably.”

As 2023 transitions into 2024, it is inevitable that the book banning spread will become greater and larger throughout the country, however, it seems for the time being, book banning will become a non-threatening in force in California.

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About the Contributor
Jasmine Lee
Jasmine Lee, Editor | Reporter
Jasmine Lee is excited to start a new year at the Griffin Gazette as a junior at Los Alamitos High School. This is her first year at the Griffin Gazette, however, she has experience working on the McAuliffe newspaper, the Birdwatch. She would best describe herself as introverted, positive, and caring. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, baking delicious treats, and drawing. In the future, Jasmine hopes to be able to become an elementary school teacher and maintain a positive outlook on life. Jasmine joined Journalism because she is interested in covering a wide range of topics while improving her writing and collaborative skills. You can contact Jasmine at [email protected]
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  • M

    Mrs. JewellDec 8, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    Great job Jasmine! Thank you for writing this article. “Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance.” ― Lyndon B Johnson

  • L

    LucieDec 7, 2023 at 9:01 am

    thanks for writing this article! I really enjoyed it!

  • K

    Katie A.Dec 5, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    I love this article! Great job Jasmine!