Why should or shouldn’t we let parents have veto power over which books their children may be taught in public schools? There are many theories on this topic and feelings go both ways. Can parents really have an important opinion or do they have to just agree with the books that have been put on the list? Obviously this question has to be addressed and action must take place, but what do we do?
In my opinion, the school’s English department carries most of the power in public schools when deciding which books will be read by the students. If a representative group of parents, teachers or administrators view a particular book unacceptable for students, then there should be an opportunity for them to discuss their consensus with those who have an opposing view. The teachers decision is not the final decision in this case. For example, if a word is used in a book that the teachers see as adequate for children to read but others disagree, some type of voting system should be set up to settle this problem.
One reason that teachers choose a book for students to read is that they hope the book will help students become better readers and more developed people. If the book has words in it that may offend people, there may be a reason that the teacher has picked the book. I firmly believe that if the teacher can give a logical reason for keeping the book because of questionable terms, then that the book should be allowed. Still, parents and those opposed to the book must be heard as well. There might be a logical reason why the book shouldn’t be on the list; that is where the voting comes into play.
Overall, some type of agreement has to be made among parents, administrators, and teacher. Both parties need to be open and flexible and both need to keep the best interest of the children as their top priorities. The parents don’t have all of the power in this case. Nor do the teachers. They should have equal power, and in the end, should be able to come to a conclusion on a certain book to be taught in public schools. What it all comes down to is that if the majority of the parents believe that a book should or shouldn’t be taught, they should be able (in a public or private forum) to voice their opinion and state their case. No one should have total veto power over which books children may be taught from in schools. Adults should set the example of cooperation and logical reasoning as they all consider what is best for students.
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