The Many Reasons Why the Book The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton Should Not Be Banned in Schools
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, has been rated number 43 on the American Library Association’s “Top 100 Most Challenged books of 1990-200! The Outsiders, should not be banned in schools because teenagers are already exposed to it’s “adult” content, it teaches strong life lessons, and schools would be restricting a potential learning experience for its students. Children are already exposed to the Outsiders “adult” content that parents and teachers are trying to shield them from. One example of this is the glorification of guns and gangs in many new box office movies targeted for a teen audience. Such movies include Gangster Squad, The Last Stand, and Broken City. Another example is video games, because they contain extremely graphic and violent content. Games including Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, and Halos’ objectives are to kill and not get caught. Yet another example is in young adult novels not restricted or promoted by schools contain things like death, alcohol, and drugs, that may teens enjoy to read. Books such as The Hunger Games and Gone have become extremely popular in the young adult community and are far more explicit than The Outsiders. The farthest THe Outsider goes in explicit content is “Everyone in our neighborhood, even the girls, smoked.” and “Johnny had been smoking since he was nine; Steve started at eleven” The Outsiders teaches strong life lessons that should not be concealed from children and teens. First it teaches that everyone has some good in them, no matter how tough they seem.
Dally was a “hardcore” Greaser who liked to cause a lot of trouble, but despite that he risked his life to save his friend Johnny from a burning church”First you and the black-haired kid climbing in that window, and the tough looking kid go back and save him”. Second, it teaches that the people you hang out with will affect your actions. Johnny was abused by his parents and started to hang out with the Greasers, because of this he was almost beaten to death by a gang of Socs. Third, The Outsiders teaches that no matter how uneducated a person may seem, they are not unintelligent. Johnny was not very educated school wise, but when him and Ponyboy were in the church reading and being read the book Gone With The Wind, Johnny had an extremely strong interest in the book and find a deeper meaning. Parents, teachers, and schools should not be restricting a potential learning experience from teenagers by not allowing them to read books like The Outsiders. The first example is that teenagers are not as easily influenced as some parents and adults may think. If a teen reads about a shooting or a person overdosing on heroin, that does not mean he or she will want to go commit a shooting of their own or take some heroin. The second example is that teenagers will not only take out the bad or explicit parts in a book, they will find a deeper meaning. For instance, although The Outsiders contains drugs and violence a teenages will not only take out the concept of drugs and violence, they will take out the lessons it teaches them, like overcoming economic differences. The third example it that by shielding teenagers from the dangers of the outside world, they will be unprepared for when mommy and daddy can to protect them anymore. By doing this children will be prone to make terrible choices because they will not understand the risk. Therefore, The Outsiders should not be banned in schools for many reasons. Parents need to stop overprotecting their children because by doing it they are limiting the knowledge of their children and leaving them waiting to be battered by the “real world”.