This is Canada: We Don't Ban Books

An Ontario parent has apparently discovered that High School actually does sometimes try and prepare students for real life. In this case, the school board has Timothy Findley’s The Wars on its optional curriculum. That means it’s not required reading for all students, but teachers may elect to use it in the classroom. Some parents have found the material in the book disturbing and labeled it “inappropriate to be presented to a class of young people.” They want the book banned.

The book does, in fact, contain some pretty adult material. There’s gang rape, murders, and violence. Because it is a violent novel is no reason to have it banned. The Grade 12 students reading it are a few short months from being adults either in University or the workforce. I think that not exposing students to reality only serves to help parents desperately hang on to the fantasy that their offspring are still children.

This is Canada: we don’t ban books, here. We just pay ridiculous prices for books compared to our neighbours in the US.

The parent appears upset because the book presents a view of the world they’re either uncomfortable with or which differs from the one through which they want their child to see. If this is the case, then they should talk to their kids about the book, its message, and the values with which the parents raised them. You don’t get to ban a book because you disagree with it or think your kid ought to disagree with it. Instead, act like a responsible parent and just talk to your kid.


Posted on May 24, 2011