it was a great read, very engaging and i liked it from the start to the finish. Mind you i hate having restictions on books because anything addressed is something the reader may have to endure in real life so its like a preparation, so banning books is stupid as is but heres my paper i had to write about it: by morgan thiel 10th grade:
Killing the Classroom
“I started thinking about charismatic psychopaths like Charles Manson and wondering what they were like as teenagers? They didn't just spring full-blown from oyster shells -- they had to hone the "people skills" that allowed them to become so manipulative as adults. Kids like that are growing up within our school systems and can exert tremendous control over their fellow students. I consider "Griffin" a cautionary tale about the danger of peer pressure,” said Lois Duncan, Killing Mr. Griffin’s author (paragraph 6, reply), when asked in an interview. You’d think with that being said that reading Killing Mr. Griffin would not only be approved, but helpful as well. So why would even having this book in stock stir up ruckus? With any problem in life, there will always be an organization to counter it, whether it’s viewed as appropriate or not.
First of all, with any book, concerns can be raised in parents. The first reason parents wanted it banned was due to all the violence. “Overall this book was really violent, this includes one accidental murder, one intended murder, and one attempted murder” (Bradley4846). Even with the understanding of this, not allowing children to read this book due to those reasons is simply sheltering them more and more from the real world. Therefore prolonging there entrance into reality. The next reason concerned parents were complaining about the book was due to the use of drugs, smoking, and the underage drinking that occurred within the cool clique. This ‘fitting in’ might seem within reach now, with what seems to have the only price as them suppressing their morals, but not allowing them to be see that side of society makes them only more naïve to the real world around them.
Despite parental concerns, librarian’s views can vary. “People learn from books. It’s the people’s rights to read what they want,” Slinger’s librarian, Mrs. Christman stated. People learn through being presented with problems, which helps them further there understanding. This knowledge can potentially help them in the future when dealing with various dilemmas. Every person has the right to read books. It’s there own decision to open the pages of the book, and read it. Thus being said, after reading Killing Mr. Griffin, it can be seen that the reader would then have a better understanding peer pressure and the damage that can be caused by giving into their peers, in a mere attempt to fit in. Why must one be restricted of what they can read, when truthfully if their minds can comprehend the want to do so, then they should be able to?
With others views already taken into consideration, the belief that no book should be banned has still held its ground. First of all, everyone’s life will be different, so knowing whether reading one book or the other holds the possibility that it could help them in future time is forever unforeseen. No one can truthfully ‘see’ the future with certainty, so how will the reader know that any book, whether it’s Killing Mr. Griffin or another, will eventually be applied to their very life’s? As seen on page 50, Susan is confronted with the gang’s idea of how to kidnap Mr. Griffin and when given the option, since not typically being the popular type and suddenly enjoying the rushing thrill of acceptance, agreed to her designated part in their plan. “She heard her voice speaking the word, and her heart rose suddenly into her throat. Had she really said it? Had she actually agreed to this insanity?”(Susan, 50). After reading this, it’s easy to see that Susan had mixed feelings about her agreement, yet still agreed to fit in. Now who’s to say that she couldn’t have gone the other way and chosen not to participate? Everyone’s opinions and thinking, as are their logical thinking dealing with right and wrong, is different and unique. This is why one mustn’t classify any group as one specific type of people. It’s not physically possible to reach into someone’s mind and say, ‘No you must think like the rest of the group,’ let alone state that all their opinions and feelings on any subject are identical. Another reason that any book shouldn’t be banned is due to the fact that banning a book restricts the readers mind. Who’s to say that Johnny shouldn’t read Killing Mr. Griffin because it’s to ‘difficult’ for him to understand? Unless there are people out there that are willing to study his brain every time a problem arises to decide what he should do, then who’s to say that he can’t comprehend something. Restricting his right to read, view, listen, do or see what he wants is taking away his rights as an American Citizen. The First Amendment to the Bill of Rights reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.’ Thus not allowing Johnny to read anything in particular is revoking his right as an American Citizen, and is therefore clarified as illegal. So why push the envelope further by banning any book?
Normally, in any heated argument, there are multiple sides to any story, and to be able to decide what side is right, one must comprehend where both sides are coming from. Knowing the future is next to impossible so why not prepare. One person argues, “I have to say the role models are not good,” (Bradley4846). When stating this about Killing Mr. Griffin, he’s saying that all role models within the story are bad. What he fails to see is that any person in the book, yet alone life, is technically a role model. For example, Mark is one of the worst role models in this book, yet Susan is one of the better ones. Mark is tarnished with his terrible, completely self-conducted terrible past, while Susan was a normal, well moralled, extremely good student who was top of her class. So classifying that the role models in any book is extremely vague and invalid. Jenny, a middle school teacher, reacted, “I'm surprised that my school purchased a class set of it. Perhaps, eighth graders could handle it -- but, I know my little sixth graders could not,” (Jenny, 1). Any student should be able to read what they want. The sooner someone grasps that the world isn’t all cheery and made of butterflies and rainbows, the better off they are since they know that not everything turns out the way it’s planned to. Allowing the people to read Killing Mr. Griffin allows them to properly see right and wrong at work. It shakes the reader into understanding that the pain caused is the characters own fault and lets them learn. Remember, one can’t make all the mistakes, but they certainly can learn from others.
With any problem in the real world, there will almost always have some people who have issues with it. So to take a quick moment to briefly explain what has been discussed: Unneeded substances and violence is everywhere, so why shelter the student from the world, forcing them to endure a harsh awakening later on in life. People learn from life, and books are life in written format, so allow them to read what interests them. People can’t decide what others like for them, so why attempt? No one can foretell the future, so who’s to say a book can’t help you? The late Mr. Griffin once stated, “I’d push each one into doing the best work of which he or she is capable of,” (Duncan, 55). So why don’t we?