Sometimes it makes sense to ban a book from a school library. For example, students should not be reading books about building bombs or any other form of violence in a library that students have access to.
However, does it make sense to ban books such as The Canterbury Tales, Paradis Lost, and Animal Farm? Evidently, one private Catholic school seems to think so because these books go against the school’s religious beliefs.
One student at the school, who is known only by her alias, Nekochan, decided to take action. She recently posted a question on Yahoo Answers to see if people thought it was “OK to run an illegal library from [her] locker at school.” Nekochan explains the situation in more detail in her question:
“I go to a private school that is rather strict. Recently, the principal and school teacher council released a (very long) list of books we’re not allowed to read. I was absolutely appalled, because a large number of the books were classics and others that are my favorites. One of my personal favorites, The Catcher in the Rye, was on the list, so I decided to bring it to school to see if I would really get in trouble. Well, I did button too much. Then (surprise!) a boy in my English class asked if he could borrow the book, because he heard it was very good AND it was banned! This happened a lot and my locker got to overflowing with the banned books, so I decided to put the unoccupied locker next to a good use. I now have 62 books in that locker, about half of what was on the list.”
Nekochan only allows sophomores, juniors, and seniors to borrow her books, so that she will not be exposing younger students to the “controversial” materials. Although she realizes she is taking a great risk by making these books available to her fellow students, she seems to think the rewards are worth it.
“I would be in so much trouble if I got caught, but I think it’s the right thing to do because before I started, almost no kid at school but myself took an active interest in reading,” she said. “Now not only are all the kids reading the banned books, but go out of their way to read anything they can get their hands on. So I’m doing a good thing, right?”
Personally, I think what Nekochan is doing is very brave and shows a lot of character. She is taking a risk to support something she truly believes in, while also helping to improve the lives of her fellow students. Also, by limiting who can borrow her books, she is taking some necessary precautions. Let’s just hope that she does not get caught and can continue to encourage other younger people to stick up for what they believe in.