Censorship of literature, art, and media is not a new phenomenon. From classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird to contemporary works like 13 Reasons Why, controversial topics and themes have led to calls for censorship and the removal of such works from libraries and schools. The most recent case in point is the removal of the manga series Assassination Classroom from libraries in Florida and Wisconsin, as well as facing challenges in other states.
Assassination Classroom is a popular manga series written and illustrated by Yūsei Matsui. The plot revolves around a group of middle school students tasked with assassinating their homeroom teacher, who is an alien with superpowers, before it destroys Earth at the end of the school year. The series explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and personal growth, as well as addressing issues such as bullying and mental health.
However, despite the positive aspects of the series, it has faced criticism for its violent and potentially disturbing content. Some groups and individuals argue that the series promotes violence and glorifies the idea of assassinating someone. This has led to the removal of the manga from libraries in Gifford Middle School in eastern Florida and the Elmbrook School District in southeastern Wisconsin.
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The question then arises: should such controversial works be censored and removed from libraries and schools? While it is important to acknowledge and address concerns regarding violent or disturbing content, censorship is not the answer. In fact, censorship can do more harm than good.
Censorship limits access to information and ideas, preventing individuals from making informed decisions and forming their own opinions. It also sets a dangerous precedent, where individuals or groups with enough influence can dictate what others are allowed to read, watch, or listen to. This goes against the principles of freedom of speech and expression, which are fundamental in any democratic society.
Instead of censorship, a better solution would be to provide context and guidance. Works that deal with controversial or sensitive topics should be accompanied by age-appropriate warnings and discussions, allowing individuals to make informed decisions regarding their consumption of such material. Schools and libraries should also provide resources and support for individuals who may be affected by the content, such as counseling or access to further information.
In conclusion, while the controversy surrounding Assassination Classroom is understandable, censorship is not the answer. Instead, we should promote open discussion and provide resources and support for individuals affected by controversial material. By doing so, we can ensure that individuals are empowered to make informed decisions and form their own opinions, while also upholding the principles of freedom of speech and expression.
Source: Anime News Network