Instigator / Pro
0
1493
rating
23
debates
60.87%
won
Topic
#4590

Parents should be able to ban books at school libraries

Status
Finished

The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Winner
0
0

After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Standard
Number of rounds
4
Time for argument
One week
Max argument characters
20,000
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Winner selection
Voting system
Open
Contender / Con
0
1491
rating
10
debates
70.0%
won
Description

Hey extending invite to debate.
I ask to have round 1 dedicated to one's own position and invite con to establish a position.

We can highlight issues or prefferences as well. I dont know wat else to say here so yeah. Let's go!

Round 1
Pro
#1
Parents should be able to ban school library books 

A quick thank you to the audience for reading this debate. Thank you to jam for accepting debate. 

I, as pro, will argue that parents should be able to ban library books. 

We will first examine the words we are using. If we have an issue with a word and how it is being used, anyone can reference merriam-webster dictionary or pro/con may highlight a need to discuss word usage in debate. 


Definitions: 
School- an organization that provides instruction. 

Ban - to prohibit the use, performance, or distribution of
OR
 - censure or condemnation especially through social pressure

Library - a place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (such as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but not for sale

What are we talking about?
I will say a school may contain any age starting at 3 years old to 90 years old. Maybe even older. however, we know that the ages at any given school is not the same and may not contain all 3 to 90 year olds. 

We are referring to schools in u.s., public, charter, and private combined. Unless otherwise mentioned, we may assume we are talking about all schools.  If this is an issue please advise.  

A school library is any library on school property or controlled by a school. I saw a school that had a library at the very corner of their complex. I guess it was open to the public, but it was fenced off and separate. Had the same name and the word "school library" in name. Weird thing that. 

People at any given school would include students, staff, maintenance, teachers, parents/guardians of students, etc. 

Any time I use parents, I am referencing guardians as well. 

Uh. These are not rules or anything. This is how I look at these terms and things

My position. 
1. A school library (library) should possess literature that is relative to the audience. An audience is the students. 

The demographics for a specific school may change or differ from  school to school.  parent involvement in student may change according to the students' age. 

Therefore the contents at a library should mirror the development stage of its audience. 

While this may be influenced by science, parents have long been the go to for feedback on education. 

2A)). A pre-school student will have greater parent involvement than high school student or a college student. 

 A pre-school student will have greater dependency on parents. These parents will have greater moral, legal, educational, medical, and physical influence on their kid. 

As we age, these influences change and some decrease. Parents are viewed by law and society to have finals say or at least the greatest influence in deciding on legal, education, and medical matters. 

Therefore parents should be included in the over all development and education for their kids. 

3. Historically, a student's education has been influenced by many things. Schools have been separated based on race, kids have been taught based on testing systems, and more. 

There are some areas we can agree did not help students (i.e. separate by race), and some areas may be debatable (i e. Teach based on testing). 

Issues appear to arrive when society or staff tries to develop a standard for what information is available without student, parent, educational community & local community input. Educational community includes teachers, experts, etc. who research human development (i.e. child development) and educational systems. 

Likewise, we have a historical precedent, parents need to give permission for some student activities. This includes field trips, movies, and other content that are identified as something different than normal education schedule. 

Therefore parent influence should be included in what content is at school and the school library. 

There seems to be some balance between influencers. The greater influencer is the parent because groups of parents can remove their students from school.  Parents have filed law suits. The school often relies on parent involvement, including money. Even at public schools. However, other influencers may have greater influence in other areas based on physical and medical safety. 

In terms of removing students from school. Schools should only remove a student as  a safety protocol to prevent physical harm . I am also referong to big groups of people leaving or a trend. This becomes an issue because a school should be neutral in many stances except student education. 


Conclusion
When we consider both audience demographics and parental roles, we can see that parents should be able to influence and even ban contents at a school library. 

Con
#2
Thank you, hey-yo for the invitation to debate this topic.

Preamble

A book is an expression of the author’s ideas in text and pictures. Reading a book stimulates the generation of ideas in the mind of the reader, who can then express these ideas in further conversations, writings, etc. The free circulation of ideas is essential to American society. The First Amendment to the US Constitution generally prevents governmental restriction of the literature and images people can produce, distribute, and consume. The freedom to exchange ideas is also highly valued, if not always legally protected in private interactions that do not involve the government. It is not the case that all parties benefit in every instance of an exchange of ideas. Sometimes an exchange of ideas can have detrimental effects. This is the issue at the core of this debate: the trade-off between the benefits of the freedom to exchange ideas and the costs associated with some instances of exchange. I will argue against the attempt to resolve this trade-off by enabling parents to ban books from school libraries. I will make my case with the following points:

  1. Federal law has a test for obscene material that is illegal to distribute, which is better to protect children from obscene books than giving parents discretion to ban.
  2. Arguments that use the concept of “parental rights” to support book banning must assume the superiority of some parents’ rights over the rights of other parents and unrelated children, which is antithetical to the ideal of equal rights for all.
  3. Parents have better alternatives to regulate their childrens’ reading behaviors.

Definitions
I generally agree with Pro’s definitions but propose that we limit the meaning of “ban” to the first part of the definition:

Ban - to prohibit the use, performance, or distribution of

This debate is about whether there should be censorship, not mere condemnation of books in school libraries.

Burden of Proof
Pro should win this debate if they make a stronger argument that it is desirable and appropriate to ban books from school libraries based  on parents’ objections to their content. On the other hand, Con should win this debate if I make a stronger argument that it is undesirable and inappropriate to ban books from school libraries based on parents’ objections to their content.

1. Obscene material

I would first like to emphasize that teachers, librarians, and other educational professionals care about the children in their schools and they take their job to provide appropriate resources to their students seriously. It is still important to have a system in place to prevent or address instances of inappropriate material being distributed to students, however unlikely. Although different people may have conflicting opinions about whether specific books are appropriate or not, there is consensus that obscene and pornographic books do not belong in school libraries.

In the United States, federal law places restrictions on obscene material, including prohibiting the distribution of obscene material to minors. Quoting the same US Department of Justice web page (enclosing text specific to minors in square brackets), the Miller test is used by judges and jurors to determine whether matter is obscene as follows:

  1. Whether the average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, finds that the matter, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interests [of minors] (i.e., an erotic, lascivious, abnormal, unhealthy, degrading, shameful, or morbid interest in nudity, sex, or excretion);
  2. Whether the average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, finds that the matter depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way [with respect to what is suitable material for minors] (i.e., ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, masturbation, excretory functions, lewd exhibition of the genitals, or sado-masochistic sexual abuse); and
  3. Whether a reasonable person finds that the matter, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value [to minors].
Importantly, the Miller test accounts for community standards while protecting material of literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. This test is mutually exclusive from a test based on parents’ objections to a book’s content because it considers the “average person” in the community rather than the idiosyncratic opinions of particular parents in the first two conditions, and a national standard for “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value” rather than a community standard in the third condition. Therefore, it is possible to prevent obscene material being distributed in school libraries by enforcing federal law without allowing parents to ban books.

Because a book that satisfies the above criteria would either not be in the school library or be eligible for removal under the law, a library book under objection from parents
  1. Has “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;” or
  2. Would not be found by “the average person, applying contemporary adult community standards” to be prurient or patently offensive.
By removing such a book from the school library, the students would be deprived of a valuable piece of literature, or the objector(s) would impose their personal standards on others, against the principle of liberty and interests of the wider community. As an example of objectors imposing their personal standards on others: according to a PEN America study, the plurality of books banned in US schools have LGBTQ+ themes, which only a relatively small group of conservative individuals would find to be offensive. On the other hand, LGBTQ+ students can benefit from reading such books not least by better understanding themselves and the difficulties they may face. Furthermore, the proliferation of library book challenges can result in soft censorship, such that school staff avoid putting some books on shelves in the first place for fear of challenges. Therefore, it is better to protect children from obscene books by enforcing federal law than giving parents discretion to ban.

2. Parental rights

A common argument in favor of banning school books is that parents have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children (proposed but not ratified as a Constitutional Amendment), which should allow them to influence the operation of their children’s schools. If a parent believes a book is inappropriate for their child(ren), so the argument goes, the parent should be able to censor that book in the school library just as they would in their own home. However, banning a book from a school library is fundamentally different from not allowing a book into a home because unrelated children also lose access to the book. While it is reasonable for a parent raising their own young child(ren) to restrict what would otherwise be considered their guaranteed freedoms, it is inappropriate for an unrelated adult to do the same to a child for whom they are not a guardian. This is from the perspective of both the unrelated child, who should not have a stranger dictate aspects of their life, and the child’s parents, who should not have their own parental rights usurped. However, the “parental rights” argument must assume that the rights of some parents who object to a book are superior to the rights of other parents and unrelated children, who want the book to be available at school. Since it goes against the ideal of equal rights for all, the “parental rights” argument in favor of book banning should be rejected.

3. Alternative options for parents

Parents have alternative means to regulate their childrens’ reading behaviors. A parent can teach their child(ren) how to identify appropriate literature, incentivize their child(ren) to read appropriate literature, answer their child(ren)’s questions about difficult topics such that they are less likely to pursue information from inappropriate sources, etc. Furthermore, even if a child is exposed to inappropriate material (from the parent’s perspective,) the parent can discuss the material with the child to create a positive lesson from the experience. These approaches are superior to attempts to ban books from school libraries because they

  1. Don’t negatively affect others’ children;
  2. Are consistent with both the principle of free speech and parental rights;
  3. Don’t open the door to further attempted censorship in other contexts such as public libraries, bookstores, etc.; and
  4. Are less likely to create the forbidden fruit effect, in which there is greater desire for something forbidden. Parents who think a book is inappropriate may inadvertently motivate their children to read it.

Round 2
Pro
#3
Parents should be able to ban books at school libraries

For round 2:
We will first elaborate on round 1
Then examine con's position in round 1 



1. Library content should mirror development stage. 

What do we mean by development stage? What do we mean by age and stage? I use these terms in # 1 for round 1. 


Human development is categorized based on our age and our capabilities. Above link shows us basic development stage for ages new born (n.b.) to 5 years old. Our ability to learn, move, critical thinking skills, communicate, sexual interests, identity, general interests and ability to read are observed to occur or develop during a specific age range.   

A 4 year old is on average learning to read. They do not need novels or text books. A 10 year old on average will be able to read what the 4 year old can not, but is still limited in capabilities. Likewise, a 10 year old, on average, does not benefit from reading books intended for 6 month olds or 4 year olds. The books we expect these ages to read would not benefit the average college student. 

We see these separations at our public libraries and book stores. There is always an adult, teen, and kid section. The kid section is sometimes divided further to help separate books according to reading level. However, unlike public libraries and book stores, the school library caters to a smaller demographic. 

A school library for younger ages would not/should not have texts intended for older kids. A university library caters to a more diverse public, but would not/should not hold texts ideal for ages bellow 15.  

There is also a concern for content that follows an institution's image. For lack of a better word, an institution's image  presents to a public what that institution is about. A private school will, on average, cater to different standards than public schools. A school of business will have a different purpose then a state university. 

Our private school may follow specific standards where content that contradict these standards could mean students fail to perform to said standard. For example, a school that prides itself on "no cheating" would not poses books about how to cheat. 

A public school that caters to minority demographics would ensure texts in library do not target their demographics. For example, many schools have dropped kid books made from 1950 and earlier because they contain content that is racist or has race centered prejudices. 

A school of business, usually a trade school, will carry books that provide their students the best ability to understand content for business. We will not see/should not see text on subjects that deter or take away from learning business. For example, a book on astrology, biology, medicine, etc. 

Although these places have their own influencers (i.e. Staff, school board, etc.) to ensure the best content exists for their students, parents are an important influencer because we are the main investors in our child's learning. For example, a student may fail at a good school with good content and teachers because we parents do not provide necessary investment into our kids. Which include school involvement. 

2. Why does school involvement include libraries? 


Above article summarises how important parent involvement is for student success. Now the question is why would this involvement include school content and libraries. 

Our parent's involvement extends to libraries because it includes content students are exposed to. This is oversight for student needs, and has  been included/expected with parent role as a school influencer. I gave examples previous round, so I will mention parent signatures again. 

Although this differs between schools because of age, parents are asked to give permission for students to view certain content. In my public school, this included sex ed. Likewise, parents are expected to view content students are exposed to in class. 

The younger the student, the greater expectation for parent involvement with student progress and content exposure.  Any parent who objects to specific content should have open dialogue with the school. Not every objection needs to resolve by having content removed from school. Sometimes parents want to add content to schools. Allowing this dialogue does not give automatic control over the school. 

Preventing this dialog, however, can put unnecessary barrier between parents and their involvement. Worst, content that parents usually would have access to now takes away a system of checks and balances. 

3. Influencers means influencers
Does an influencer control school content? 

No. Just like school board, teachers, etc., parents have limited influence on schools. The ability to ban content is collaborative among influencers. Acting as a system of checks and balances; each influencer having their own limit and power. 

Public school boards, who vote for educational programs and have final say on what content may be banished, are often voted for. Teachers have evaluations.  Students have their own voice for self advocacy. Parents often have the PTA (parent teacher association) to ensure open dialogue about student progress, student needs, content at school (i.e. books), and more. 

This system of checks and balances need to exist to maintain positive environment for students.  Issues appear to arrive when society or staff tries to develop a standard for what information is available without student, parent, educational community & local community input. Educational community includes teachers, experts, etc. who research human development (i.e. child development) and educational systems. 

Con round 1. 

Sometimes an exchange of ideas can have detrimental effects. This is the issue at the core of this debate: the trade-off between the benefits of the freedom to exchange ideas and the costs associated with some instances of exchange. 

I disagree. The core issue for this debate is this:
 Parents have oversight for their kids; determining what kids can access. 
Sometimes this means a web page, a movie, or a book. 
Does this oversight include the ability to influence contents accessable through school? 
 yes because parents are influencers at the school. 

Why focus on parent oversight? 

 A) help prevent debate from getting too big/convoluted. 
 
B) help provide a more accurate debate because parents are inherent influencers at schools. 

We have alumni, parent teacher associations (pta), booster clubs, etc., all investing time and money into    schools and their libraries. Allowing students to have books or other materials. 

C) parent oversight and influence can still occur or be denied despite benefits or other subjective maters. 

For example, a library may have a wide range of texts that possess no benefit to its audience. Just as a library may have several beneficial texts missing from their collection.   

D) Access to materials is not guaranteed regardless to opinion on how beneficial these materials are. Likewise, controversial content viewed as "ban worthy" can be obtained from many outlets/sources outside of school. 


Definitions
I generally agree with Pro’s definitions but propose that we limit the meaning of “ban” to the first part of the definition:

Ban - to prohibit the use, performance, or distribution of

This debate is about whether there should be censorship, not mere condemnation of books in school libraries.

I agree. 

Burden of Proof
Pro should win this debate if they make a stronger argument that it is desirable and appropriate to ban books from school libraries based  on parents’ objections to their content.

On the other hand, Con should win this debate if I make a stronger argument that it is undesirable and inappropriate to ban books from school libraries based on parents’ objections to their content.

Yeah. Ok. I guess so. Lol. 


1. Obscene material

Con's approach in point 1 is well intended but there are parts we need to consider. 

A. Federal law does not include nor did it include all inappropriate materials for any given school library. Any content removed from a school library may be inappropriate because student's age or development stage does not coincide with content within a book. An extreme example is a karma sutra book. We would not see this in every library. 


B  ) Obscene materials tests (and govt. as a whole) are applied to society as a whole where as parents navigate content to specific ages and development stages. 

This can become confusing when applied to controversial or political content because community includes local influencers. Persons from outside the local community do not always present best interest of the community. 


C) The Miller test is used by judges and jurors to determine whether content is obscene. This means someone has been arrested or a book is under investigation as being obscene after it has already been released to the public. Potentially obtained by a library. What ever damage this content may pose has already been done before the courts can begin to test it. 

D). A system of checks and balances where parents as influencers help determine content (and actions) that are accessible to students is superior to having no dialog because
  1. Oversight
  2. Parents vote for school board members and other aspects about their child's school. We need to know what materials our kids are exposed to and we need a system to address issues without having to vote for new board members every single time there is an issue.  
E. Allowing parents to ban books from libraries can give us a system where a book from the library can be proven to provide students a value. objectors can  give evidence as to why it is not. Such a system exists when parents can ban library books. 

F. 
 As an example of objectors imposing their personal standards on others: according to a PEN America study, the plurality of books banned in US schools have LGBTQ+ themes, which only a relatively small group of conservative individuals would find to be offensive.

What are the arguments or reasons presented to ban some of these books that have LGBTQ+ themes? Can con provide an example? 

...

These books are not being banned from every library. They are banned in areas that have a specific demographic. Primarily at schools that have grades pre-k to 6th grade. 

This reflects the concern for age and stage in development. There needs to be evidence that students would benefit in order to prevent a book from being banned. Thankfully evidence is required to have a book banned as well. 

Im not going to say what is right or wrong with lgbtq+ because that is not the debate. We should still recognize that the miller test is based on the community standards. The areas that see these bans are portraying a community standard. 



2. unrelated children also lose access to the book.

A)     A parents position as influencer, operates as a collaboration among other influencers.  This helps maintain parent involvement and the natural "checks & balances" that exist at any school. 

As such, one parent can not prevent content to another unrelated child. One parent can not ban books. One parent does not dictate what someone else's children do. This is true for those who want to remove content for libraries and for those who want to keep it. 

Instead, what does occur and what my positions supports  is open dialog between all influencers. Where as a group of influencers promote an idea, and then that idea is voted on.  

B ) I will also criticize con's approach in explaining their #2. 
Teachers are strangers who in many ways dictate what students learn and how students learn. The school board are strangers who dictate the same. Any national committee to decide on the same are as such as well. 

This is why everyone at a school works together to help determine the best path. Sometimes it is orthodox in method, or unorthodox. 


   the rights of some parents who object to a book vs.  the rights of other parents who want the book to be available at school is a swell objection. Which is why the ability to ban books at school libraries is a lengthy investigation that includes dialog and debate and then voting. No parent(s) have the ability to point amd then ban what ever they want. 

C) Arguments that use the concept of “parental rights” to support book banning must assume the superiority of some parents’ rights over the rights of other parents and unrelated children, which is antithetical to the ideal of equal rights for all.

3. Con offers tools for parents to navigate their child's experience at school.   However,  prevention is missing. 

Knowing how to identify appropriate content does not prevent exposure because books are not titled or summarized to show explicit natures. Inappropriate content may still be obtained without a child's knowing. Which excludes any attempt to incentivize what content to read. 

Materials that generate a need to  answer child(ren)’s questions about difficult topics result in exposing child(ren) to inappropriate content just in explanation alone. Otherwise  missing information needed for adequate answers generate more curiosity. 

Furthermore, how can a child exposed to inappropriate material at school tell the parent about the material to discuss it? There are many instances where students do not speak about their school experience because they may get into trouble or they are ashamed or the child doesn't even know why. 

Therefore these proposed methods are tools among many other tools parents have in raising child(ren). Among these tools are our ability to influence what content may be viewed. As school influencers this  includes observing what content is accessable, promoting content to be accessable, and removing content to prevent accessibility. 

In response to con's reasoning to why these approaches are superior: 

A (con's 1) How will removing a book negatively affect others’ children?
Does this apply to obscene materials? 

B. ( 2.)  Does preventing a book from being in a school library violate free speech? Why?

C  (3) .. Considering parents are an influencer at their child's school. How does this influence used to remove a book open the door to further attempted censorship? Why are we to assume that removing a book from any library is inherently bad? Why should we assume censorship is inherently bad? Do we, as consumers, have our own ability to deny a product just as well as to buy it? 

D (4.) the forbidden fruit effect
A. ) The potential in creating a forbidden fruit effect is, in itself, not a reason to allow easy access to an item that is "forbidden." We do this with cigarettes, alcohol, friends, etc. Sometimes there still needs to be standards for development and safety. Sometimes parents need to prevent certain items from being acquired. 

In society we have laws to prevent people from obtaining certain materials. Like obscene materials. Schools have their own rules to prevent some actions and prevent some materials on campus. Parents do the same.   

 
B) The best way to prevent "forbidden fruit effect" is to ensure there is no forbidden fruit. This means the book that is forbidden is not easily accessible to the child. For a school library, this results in the library ensuring they do not have a copy of the book in question. 

Parents have no means to regulate their childrens’ reading behaviors if children are granted a means to go outside that regulation. 



Con
#4
In this round, I will elaborate on my round 1 argument where necessary and address Pro’s round 1 argument. So it is not assumed that I concede any of Pro’s attempted rebuttals, I will also respond to their comments from round 2.

  1. Obscene Material
I dedicate part of my argument to the issue of obscene material because

  1. Despite other disagreements about the propriety of different books, there is consensus that obscene and pornographic books do not belong in school libraries.
  2. Censorious individuals and groups exploit this consensus by challenging books based on false claims of obscenity.

As an example of the second point, 58 books were banned in the Walton County School District in Florida based on a  “Porn in Schools Report” sent to the district by the Florida Citizens Alliance, which mischaracterized the books as “indecent,” “inappropriate,” “pornographic,” and “obscene.” As a PEN America article on this case states:

“These allegations do not appear to adhere to legal definitions nor take into account relevant federal jurisprudence, resulting in a lack of foundational integrity of the report.”

At this point, I will respond to the following question from Pro:

“What are the arguments or reasons presented to ban some of these books that have LGBTQ+ themes? Can con provide an example?”

I again quote the PEN America article on the Walton County School District book banning:

“In another example, the reviewer for Melissa by Alex Gino (formerly published as George), selected the following passage as an example of how the book contains ‘explicit and detailed verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual excitement, or sexual conduct and that is harmful to minors.’ 

The passage reads: ‘The bodies looked the same to George. They were all girls’ bodies. If George were there, she would fit right in. They would ask her name.’”

Many conservative parents connect LGBTQ+ people with obscenity by their very nature, not based on any sexually explicit behavior. Not only do parents’ objections fail to meet legal definitions of obscenity, but they also often fail to meet colloquial definitions, as in the example above.

My argument is that it is undesirable and inappropriate to protect children from obscenity by giving parents discretion to ban books because this leads to censorship of books that are not actually obscene. This harms school students by needlessly taking away their freedom to access information and denying them benefits of, for example, education about LGBTQ+ issues, and positive representation of historically marginalized communities.

I will now address Pro’s points against my argument about obscene material.

“A. Federal law does not include nor did it include all inappropriate materials for any given school library. Any content removed from a school library may be inappropriate because student's age or development stage does not coincide with content within a book. An extreme example is a karma sutra book. We would not see this in every library.”

Who should decide whether a book is inappropriate for a school library or not? When considering the topic of obscenity, I argue that parents should not decide, as explained above. This point does not seem to refute my argument, rather it just refers to Pro’s ideas about development stages.

B  ) Obscene materials tests (and govt. as a whole) are applied to society as a whole where as parents navigate content to specific ages and development stages. 

This can become confusing when applied to controversial or political content because community includes local influencers. Persons from outside the local community do not always present best interest of the community.

I don’t understand how these statements refute my argument. The Miller Test includes two items based on community standards and one item that considers the literary, artistic, political, or scientific value of the material, unrestricted by community standards. This third item is key to protect the right of people in conservative communities to access valuable literature even if their neighbors think it is prurient or offensive.

C) The Miller test is used by judges and jurors to determine whether content is obscene. This means someone has been arrested or a book is under investigation as being obscene after it has already been released to the public. Potentially obtained by a library. What ever damage this content may pose has already been done before the courts can begin to test it.

The enforcement of federal law can prevent books from entering a library in the first place by disincentivizing illegal activity or enabling anyone to report the attempted distribution of an obscene book to a school library without it actually ending up on a shelf. Often, parents attempt to ban books that have been available in a school library for some time, so Pro’s point about “What ever damage this content may pose has already been done” would also apply to their side.

D). A system of checks and balances where parents as influencers help determine content (and actions) that are accessible to students is superior to having no dialog because
  1. Oversight
  2. Parents vote for school board members and other aspects about their child's school. We need to know what materials our kids are exposed to and we need a system to address issues without having to vote for new board members every single time there is an issue.
I would like to highlight that Pro is euphemizing book banning and censorship as a means to “help determine content (and actions) that are accessible to students”. Point D also doesn’t seem to be related to my argument, and is unclear in its generality, especially the numbered sub-points. Did I suggest having no dialog about books in school libraries? No, in fact several of my proposed alternative options for parents involve dialog between parents and their children. The lone word “Oversight” provides no meaningful contribution to Pro’s point. I did not suggest voting “for new board members every single time there is an issue.


E. Allowing parents to ban books from libraries can give us a system where a book from the library can be proven to provide students a value. objectors can  give evidence as to why it is not. Such a system exists when parents can ban library books.

The Miller Test for obscenity is a better system to prove that a book provides students with value, as the third item in the test checks for this condition and protects against the over-application of conservative community values, as previously discussed. The example of the Walton County School District book banning also shows that parents can provide poor “evidence” and still get a book banned, whereas there are higher standards for legal evidence.

2. Parental Rights
The part of my argument that addresses the common parental rights argument for school library book bans also diminishes Pro’s overall argument, which can be summarized as follows:
  1. School library books should match the developmental stage of the school’s students. 
  2. Parents’ influence on their children’s schooling, which is desirable, should include shaping the content available at the school library.
  3. Parents’ should be involved in the banning of books from the school library that they consider inappropriate for their children, along with other parties.
To be clear, Pro is arguing for the resolution that “Parents should be able to ban books at school libraries” even if as part of point 3 above they claim that
The ability to ban content is collaborative among influencers.” To actually support the resolution, Pro must advocate for some instances in which parents are the primary or sole influencers in a decision to ban a book from a school library, i.e., they have the ability to cause the ban. Taking this into consideration, Pro’s argument is a kind of parental rights argument.

I argue that it is undesirable and inappropriate to ban books from school libraries based on parents’ objections to their content because while it is reasonable for a parent raising their own young child(ren) to restrict the books they can access in general, it is unreasonable for an unrelated adult to do the same to a child for whom they are not a guardian, which must be the case in a school library book ban. This is from the perspective of both the unrelated child, who should not have a stranger dictate aspects of their life, and the child’s parents, who should not have their own parental rights (or power of influence) usurped. Pro must advocate for some parents to have the ability to ban books from a library that they consider inappropriate for the school students’ developmental stage, but which other parents, children, etc., consider appropriate. They do not prove why the opinions about the propriety of library books from parents who wish to ban the books should override the opinions from others who want to keep the books, and, therefore, Pro’s argument should be rejected.

I will now address Pro’s points against my argument about parental rights.

A) A parents position as influencer, operates as a collaboration among other influencers.  This helps maintain parent involvement and the natural "checks & balances" that exist at any school.
As such, one parent can not prevent content to another unrelated child. One parent can not ban books. One parent does not dictate what someone else's children do. This is true for those who want to remove content for libraries and for those who want to keep it.
To reiterate a previous point: Pro must advocate for some instances in which parents are the primary or sole influencers in a decision to ban a book from a school library, i.e., they have the ability to cause the ban.


B ) I will also criticize con's approach in explaining their #2.
Teachers are strangers who in many ways dictate what students learn and how students learn. The school board are strangers who dictate the same. Any national committee to decide on the same are as such as well.
It is the expectation and legal responsibility of educational institutions to act in loco parentis, or “in place of the parent”. In this way, teachers and other school staff are not strangers to their students in the same way as the unrelated parents of their classmates are, as the teachers are the guardians of the students while they are in school.

the rights of some parents who object to a book vs.  the rights of other parents who want the book to be available at school is a swell objection. Which is why the ability to ban books at school libraries is a lengthy investigation that includes dialog and debate and then voting. No parent(s) have the ability to point amd then ban what ever they want.
Again, to support the resolution that “Parents should be able to ban books at school libraries”, Pro must advocate for some instances in which parents have the ability to ban the books that they want to, but Pro seems unwilling to do so.

C) Arguments that use the concept of “parental rights” to support book banning must assume the superiority of some parents’ rights over the rights of other parents and unrelated children, which is antithetical to the ideal of equal rights for all.
Pro does not contend this.

3. Alternative Options for Parents

Pro states: “Con offers tools for parents to navigate their child's experience at school.   However,  prevention is missing.” The issue is that allowing parents to ban books from a school library not only prevents their children from accessing the books, but also other unrelated children, which I explain as undesirable and inappropriate under point 2 of my argument on parental rights.

I accept that from the perspective of some parents, my proposed alternative means to regulate their children’s reading behavior may seem insufficient because there is no guarantee that their children will not read certain books in school. The benefits and limitations of my proposed alternatives must be weighed against the benefits and limitations allowing parents to ban books from school libraries, which does guarantee that certain books will be inaccessible. The benefits of my proposed alternatives include fostering communication between parents and children, helping parents learn how to deal with other situations where their children interact with literature or other media, e.g., at friends’ homes, public libraries, bookstores, or on the Internet, and creating a positive lesson for the child(ren) from an experience with a book. I argue that the limitation of lacking a guaranteed mechanism for parents to prevent their children from accessing certain books is not so significant. It is the nature of parenting in the vast majority of contexts that one can’t fully control children’s behavior nor have guarantees that children will do something or not. Therefore, having this be the case with what children read in a school library is not some great catastrophe. Pro has not presented many significant benefits of allowing parents to ban school library books, and I have discussed many limitations of this approach.

Knowing how to identify appropriate content does not prevent exposure because books are not titled or summarized to show explicit natures. Inappropriate content may still be obtained without a child's knowing. Which excludes any attempt to incentivize what content to read.
Even if parents are allowed to ban school library books, a child may open a book that their parent(s) think is inappropriate before it is banned. Pro claims that it is not possible to incentivize children to read certain books without evidence.

Materials that generate a need to  answer child(ren)’s questions about difficult topics result in exposing child(ren) to inappropriate content just in explanation alone. Otherwise  missing information needed for adequate answers generate more curiosity.
No, if parents are concerned about the propriety of the information that their children receive, as Pro argues they are, they will provide appropriate explanations of ideas to their children.

Furthermore, how can a child exposed to inappropriate material at school tell the parent about the material to discuss it? There are many instances where students do not speak about their school experience because they may get into trouble or they are ashamed or the child doesn't even know why.
Pro does not explicitly state how this comment refutes my argument. They are just saying that children won’t always tell their parents about every instance of reading a book in the school library.

A (con's 1) How will removing a book negatively affect others’ children?
Does this apply to obscene materials?

B. ( 2.)  Does preventing a book from being in a school library violate free speech? Why?

C  (3) .. Considering parents are an influencer at their child's school. How does this influence used to remove a book open the door to further attempted censorship? Why are we to assume that removing a book from any library is inherently bad? Why should we assume censorship is inherently bad? Do we, as consumers, have our own ability to deny a product just as well as to buy it?

D (4.) the forbidden fruit effect
A. ) The potential in creating a forbidden fruit effect is, in itself, not a reason to allow easy access to an item that is "forbidden." We do this with cigarettes, alcohol, friends, etc. Sometimes there still needs to be standards for development and safety. Sometimes parents need to prevent certain items from being acquired.
B) The best way to prevent "forbidden fruit effect" is to ensure there is no forbidden fruit. This means the book that is forbidden is not easily accessible to the child. For a school library, this results in the library ensuring they do not have a copy of the book in question.
A) It prevents others’ children from receiving the benefits of reading the book in the school library. Others’ children may rely on their school library to access books. Children can be protected from obscene materials without allowing parents to ban school library books, and protecting children from obscene materials is a good thing.

B) From Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

“Attached to the core rights of free speech and free press are several peripheral rights that make these core rights more secure. The peripheral rights encompass not only freedom of association, including privacy in one's associations, but also, in the words of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), "the freedom of the entire university community", i.e., the right to distribute, the right to receive, and the right to read, as well as freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, and freedom to teach.”
C) If parents must rely on being able to ban books from school libraries to achieve their parenting goals, they are likely to rely on being able to ban books and other things in other contexts to achieve the same goals. I’m not sure that censorship is inherently bad, because it is a social activity and some society might view it as beneficial. However American society generally views censorship as bad, and we are debating school library bans in the US. I think censorship is bad because I place a high value on people's freedom to read and write what they want to in general, and I don't trust a censorious individual or group to determine what books are "appropriate" or not for everyone else.

D) The issue is that allowing parents to ban school library books leaves it up to some parents to decide for everyone what should be forbidden. Unlike with cigarettes and alcohol, there is not a consensus about what books are unsuitable for all children, with some exceptions, e.g., for obscene materials, which I have already dealt with. With an understanding of the forbidden fruit effect, it is clear that in sub-point B, Pro claims that the best way to prevent the forbidden fruit effect is to cause the forbidden fruit effect.

Round 3
Pro
#5
There seems to be context lost. I will address con's previous post.  

Jamgiller's position. 

1. Obscene material 

Is the govt. enough to prevent inapropriate materials from getting into libraries? 

A. ) No. As said before. The govt. does not review texts prior to release or a book being added to a library. Recall events that lead to Miller vs. California, which in turn developed into a national standard known as Miller test for obscene materials. Miller mailed out materials to people, commiting a crime. People received these materials, becoming victims to Miller's agenda. Victims exposed to obscene content. 

This is how govt. monitors content available to general public. Waiting for citizens to make a complaint and then going through trials to have a judge develop the outcome. This takes money and time away from everyone. 

If we are just expecting school staff/librarians to use the federal standard for obscene materials, the standard does not depict what is appropriate at each school. I said it before. 

Any content removed from a school library may be inappropriate because student's age or development stage does not coincide with content within a book. An extreme example is a karma sutra book. We would not see this in every library.”

Unfortunately context is lost. Jam follows with,
This point does not seem to refute my argument,

...missing that Jam's argument includes "federal standard for obscene materials (miller test) is enough to prevent materials that should be banned." I'm Paraphrasing. 

Therefore I am saying federal law is not enough because relying on federal law alone would allow content like karma sutra to be present in school libraries. Even elementary schools. 

This is why we need to consider age and stage. To have content relevant to the elementary or the college or where ever.  Content concern goes beyond gender identity. 

B) The 5 year old (on average) does not read and does not benefit from texts intended for older ages. How ever unlikely there have been and continue to be a risk to books intended (or better suited) for an older audience at school library with audience that includes younger/less mature students. This concern works in reverse as well. 

So I must ask Jam, would you support having a book  about sex toys at an elementary school library?

To add context to this question. There have been several teachers to speak on this topic with students as young as 9.  That is grades 3 or 4. 

Floyd said he is most troubled that parents were never notified before the trip.


Various books have been brought into question because they explicitly depict sex and sexual content across communities with diverse demographics
The “teen-tween” room in the library is colorfully decorated with Pride flags and other rainbow decorations. Hinckley said “it’s lovely and well-supplied” and that no one is complaining about those displays.
Asked whether she would be OK having those books in the library but in a different section, Hinckley said, “I’m not sure because, again, they don’t carry 'Playboy' in here

A northern Virginia school system said it is removing two books from school libraries, including an illustrated memoir that contains explicit illustrations of sexual encounters involving children, after a parent expressed concern about them at a school board meeting

Books that are inappropriate for students seep trough the cracks one way or another. Should we really accept them in our libraries? 

C. These articles also show evidence that we do not have a concensus on what should or should not be in a school without community involvement. Above articles provide evidence that collaboration from all influencers (as listed in round 2) are needed to navigate school and library content. This includes parents because, as con says, parents are entrusting their kid's to their education institute of choice.  Also, as I have said, parents invest their money and time into the schools and students. 

Although we agree that some materials need to be censored and banned from libraries, there are materials that are not deemed obscene that still are not for all audiences. This is why we need a collaboration between influencers that observes a natural checks & balance system.  We cant have that if parents do not have their own ability to object to content provided in schools. Including libraries. 

I don’t understand how these statements refute my argument

That is ok. I am investing in my own argument. If you, Jam, say that we need to rely on federal law. Then I am saying a national law could not reflect the needs of our local communities. 

"enabling anyone to report the attempted distribution of an obscene book to a school library without it actually ending up on a shelf"

Does the word anyone include parents?
If obscene materials are prevented from being in a library, are they banned? 

Lets not forget a very important thing. 
The enforcement of federal law
Enforcing law requires law enforcement. That's police. We do not have police monitoring library books. What would you suggest?

D. Unable to copy paste link, if we follow the pen link provided by Jam. We see an article that in turn links us to Walton County School District press release. This highlights the need for a balanced system where content is reviewed. 

Even if content, that a parent(s) object to, is found to be credible and appropriate and then kept in the library - that is ok. That result still reflects a better system where parents are involved with the school compared to removing parent involvement in our ability to object and cause certain content to be banned. Not every objection needs to result in a ban, however. 


April 22, 2022


The Walton County School District (WCSD), along with many educational systems, recently received a list of over 50 books deemed inappropriate by an outside group. From that list, as Superintendent of Schools, I sought information from district staff regarding the availability and locations of said titles. Staff located 24 of the 50+ books within media centers throughout the District.

Being proactive, I asked staff to remove the books from circulation for the purposes of reviewing and re-evaluating age-appropriateness and content, especially in the context of Florida’s recent legislative session. With reports of movements underway across the state coupled with legal implications and the potential undue stress to my District and staff, I am not willing to place any WCSD personnel in the cross hairs of this kind of perilous circumstance. I want to emphasize that NO “book ban” has occurred in Walton County. Any headlines or news stories as such are misinformation, inaccurate, and false!

The Walton County School District is committed to a culture which we proudly call EPIC. I am steadfast in the vision of excellence, choosing to focus on students and academics in these divisive times. Leaders, teachers, administrators, staff, and families in Walton County are focused on end of the year assessments, achievement, and graduations, which have earned the District the #5 ranking in the State of Florida. I will continue to protect and maintain the trust of the community and do what is right for all students and stakeholders consistent with how I have served as Superintendent for the past six years.



Point D also doesn’t seem to be related to my argument, and is unclear in its generality, especially the numbered sub-points. Did I suggest having no dialog about books in school libraries? No, in fact several of my proposed alternative options for parents involve dialog between parents and their children. 
Point D relates to my argument. I am presenting a risk that can be observed when taking away an ability to ban books. The Dialog I mentioned is between schools and parents. Which is why p.t.a.'s are formed. Take away a parent's ability to ban a library book also takes away parents' ability to object to school content because it demotes dialog when objections occur. 

How is that? Think about it. If we have no say on what our child is reading in a library then we have no say on content that is in school. This includes content on sex just as muh as it includes content on math or any other subject. 

Is this a slippery slope? Whether it is or not does not decrease how true these words are. parents have ability to review and object to content x in the entire school. Although we are specific to libraries in this debate, a book banned in library will be banned from the whole school. A parent with no dialog on what content is acceptable in library can make no claim with weight for content in the school. Including content that is verbal. 

Why is this so important? Ensures we parents are receiving reward for our investment into the student and the school. 

Many parts to what I say reference earlier statements. I mention how parents invest in schools and students before. Just as I mention parental oversight before listing it. 

Our parent's involvement extends to libraries because it includes content students are exposed to. This is oversight for student needs, and has  been included/expected with parent role as a school influencer. I gave examples previous round, so I will mention parent signatures again. 

Although this differs between schools because of age, parents are asked to give permission for students to view certain content. In my public school, this included sex ed. Likewise, parents are expected to view content students are exposed to in class. 

I did not suggest voting “for new board members every single time there is an issue.
I know, I am. The school board helps manage and develop school content. This is what students learn and includes more than just books at a library. 

parents giving input here and there about objections to a few books in libraries is less of an issue than having a campaign to vote in new school board members to have books removed. 

A meeting to review a book costs less than to have parents try to expose a scandal everytime we don't like a book. 

2. Parental rights ? 
To actually support the resolution, Pro must advocate for some instances in which parents are the primary or sole influencers in a decision to ban a book from a school library, i.e., they have the ability to cause the ban. Taking this into consideration, Pro’s argument is a kind of parental rights argument.

Hold on here. I do not need to advocate for some instances in which parents are the primary/sole influencers in a decision to ban because (a) parents do not need to be sole influencer to cause a ban (b) that is not how the current system works. Nor does it need to. 

Parents raise their objections, providing evidence for their objections. The school removes books for review where as the school district may review with teacher/staff, student, parent, educational community, and local community input. The content within book is included. 

Book banned or not, both are acceptable outcomes. Where as the book being banned is still caused by parents if parents are the ones who submit the objection. 

while it is reasonable for a parent raising their own young child(ren) to restrict the books they can access in general, it is unreasonable for an unrelated adult to do the same to a child for whom they are not a guardian, which must be the case in a school library book ban 

We can say the same thing for allowing content that parents do not want their child observing. 
why would we allow the rights of people who want book x in library to be priority over those who do not? 

If we allow parents to object and cause a book to be banned, then no opinion is prioritized over another because everyone is welcomed to dialog. As I said before and above, the materials that are investigated do not need to be banned just because an objection is made. That is not how the current system works. Instead, objections are reviewed. I argue that review needs to include school board meeting with influencers to understand objections better than letters. Also prevents people from outside the community (people who do not have kids at the school, or any sort of expert in education field)  from becoming influencers when they are not. This solves Jam's concerns on 

A) as stated above. The ability to cause a ban does not rely on being the sole influencer. Our system should not and does not work that way. 

B). It is the expectation and legal responsibility of educational institutions to act in loco parentis, or “in place of the parent”. In this way, teachers and other school staff are not strangers to their students in the same way as the unrelated parents of their classmates are, as the teachers are the guardians of the students while they are in school.

Legal responsibility does not make us more than a stranger. Staff are strangers until the school year progresses, but even by the end of the year a teacher's familarity does not make them more than an aquantance. 

Acting as a guardian on campus does not replace parental oversight either. There have been several court cases, listed on the link provided, that decreased many institution's ability to act in place of parents, to the point that it does not apply to higher education any more. 

Pro must advocate for some instances in which parents have the ability to ban the books that they want to, but Pro seems unwilling to do so.

Parents ability as influencers to cause a book to be banned, and therefore having ability to ban books, is my position. I can argue to limit this ability too. Parents should not point and click away books. We should raise an objection, provide evidence, and demonstrate a reason to why book x should be banned. 

C) ah! Dont assume in silence. .plus I did comment on this in other areas. Regardless I will be clear on it now.  
Arguments that use the concept of “parental rights” to support book banning must assume the superiority of some parents’ rights over the rights of other parents and unrelated children, which is antithetical to the ideal of equal rights for all.

I question the logic in above quote. I am not using "parental rights" in my position - rather I use their obligation as parents and existing  position as influencers at schools. However, if you argue against the rights of some over another, why are we to accept the same thing when superiority of some parents or some persons who would want book x in a school library over those who do not? 

To put it simple. Jam wants book x in library. I do not. From Jam's point of view, I take priority if the book is removed. Therefore Jam take's priority if the book stays.

 If we are to say it is wrong for the book to be removed on basis that I take priority over another. Then the book should not stay on basis that Jam would take priority over another. This logic does not work because it is a paradox where both solutions are wrong. 

Therefore we should not use the logic. Instead both positions take no priority over another by ensuring both positions have equal ability: present their case as show evidence. 

3. Are alternatives enough to rule out parent intervention: banning books at school libraries?

No .  When we allow  parents to ban books from school libraries, which Con says, "does guarantee that certain books will be inaccessible," these inaccessible books are inaccessible at the school. 
Accessible at public libraries, bookstores, or on the Internet,
There is greater access to the content in question than ability to prevent it. 

A. It prevents others’ children from receiving the benefits of reading the book in the school library. 
There are many more locations available to access books from. Con lists these locations: public libraries, stores, internet, etc. 

Seems to be easier to access content that is in question instead of restrict it. 


B.  the right to distribute, the right to receive, and the right to read, 

How is the right to read/receive violated if anyone can still get books from public libraries, stores, internet, etc.? 

Since when does right to distribute include every place I want my book, including schools? 

C. If parents must rely on being able to ban books from school libraries to achieve their parenting goals, they are likely to rely on being able to ban books and other things in other contexts to achieve the same goals.

We do not rely on 1 tool. We have many tools to use because just 1 is insufficient. A couple of tools are insufficient.  We should use all tools available. 

Citizens can make their concerns known to any library or any store they want to. This is a community. Everyone has a voice and may project a concern. This in itself is not inherently bad. Censorship is not inherently bad. We agree. 

Nor is it inherently bad that books be banned. Con views obscene materials ok to ban. We agree that obscene materials should not be in school libraries.  we disagree with what is appropriate because the two are not the same. To disagree is ok. 

We should participate in this discussion together. Together disappears when parents are no longer involved in the discussion. 

American society does not generally view censorship as inherently bad. We are witnessing history unfold as congress decides on whether to ban tik tok. Some voters have voiced their support for this. Some voiced their concerns to prevent tik tok from being banned. Again, what maters is the discussion and who is involved in that discussion. 

For a school. Parents need to be involved. The process to know what content is being viewed by students should include parents. 

Now. Con says,"  I place a high value on people's freedom to read and write what they want to in general...
We understand this to mean there are exception. Con identified these exceptions (obscene). 

D.  The issue is that allowing parents to ban school library books leaves it up to some parents to decide for everyone what should be forbidden.  

The current system allows parents to ban books by making their concerns known to schools, schools investigate parent concerns. Once an investigation occurs, the school decides on how to follow up. Some make local decisions while others require a vote from school board.  I advocate for open house discussion at school board meeting, with voting by school board. 

This allows everyone's voice to be heard. Also allows parents to ban books. 

Pro claims that the best way to prevent the forbidden fruit effect is to cause the forbidden fruit effect
I said the best way to prevent forbidden fruit effect is to prevent access to the fruit that is forbidden because this prevents us from knowing the fruit exists. 

We can not want to read something we do not know exist.  So any concern for forbidden fruit effect becomes null. If we know this fruit had exist, out interest decreases because it is not visible or accessible. 

Forbidden fruit effect is no longer a concern. 
 


Con
#6
Forfeited
Round 4
Pro
#7
Im just going to summarize what I can. Then give it over to Jam. 

Parents should be able to ban books at school libraries because : 

1. All school libraries need appropriate content based on age,  stage/development, school direction. I've provided varied examples above to legal content (books) that the govt. has not censored or banned in any way, but would be inappropriate for different reasons. Reasons vary from content related to school purpose (like a business school) to content based on reading capabilities, to sexual content. We should consider such a varied content type because library content differs so widely. We should consider more than just one content type. 

2. Parents & guardians have a natural and societal obligation to maintain safety, education, health, and more for children. Although some may fail in this obligation, our obligation and care as parents still exists. 

Parents  have a voice to help ensure these obligations - there is no better system to keep our voice as parents with schools than a system of checks and balances at school. 

3.  Parents help maintain a natural system of checks & balances as school influencers, ensuring content and more are appropriate for the school and students. This balanced system gives parents a voice while schools still dictate their direction and image. Any school or school district can handle each objection to their needs.  

This is explained in more depth in above rounds. 

Jam points & my criticisms: 

1. Jam says federal law on obscene materials is enough. We can see it is not because federal law limits itself to a general audience where as  some books may still be inappropriate for a narrowed audience,  like at a school. 

Comparing Jam's approach in relying on federal law without parent involvement vs. my approach in allowing local schools decide with parents, there will be a bigger cost and longer period in time to develop decisions in courts. This was hinted towards in questions in previous rounds with some explanation (connecting dots as to why/how). 

2. Jam shares a concern for parent and student rights insuring no one over steps another person's rights. Valiant but also alleviated when all parents have the ability to voice their concerns and have the community weigh in on what those concerns are. 

I also criticize the over all concept in showing that someone's rights will be stepped on if Jam's example was reversed as well. 


3. We also receive alternative options that work better with parents keeping our influence in our kids' schooling than separate from it. 

As some questions have not been responded to, I invite readers to revisit previous rounds as needed to help connect any missing pieces. 

Thanks for a good debate Jam. And may audience have fun reading. 


Con
#8
Sorry for the forfeit last round. I should have kept a better eye on the time and posted what I had.

1. Obscene material
When Pro criticises my argument by saying that "federal law limits itself to a general audience where as  some books may still be inappropriate for a narrowed audience,  like at a school", they are conflating “inappropriate”, which is a very general descriptor, and “obscene”, which specifically refers to something that is fixated on offensive sexual, excretory, and similar content. I argue that existing federal law is enough to protect school students from exposure to obscene material specifically. It is also inappropriate  and undesirable to rely on parents being able to ban books to protect students from obscenity as I have provided evidence that parents often mischaracterize LGBTQ-themed books as "obscene" to get them banned, which deprives students of valuable literature. I have also shown that the Miller test is mutually exclusive from a test based on parents’ objections to a book’s content as it considers the “average person” in the community rather than the idiosyncratic opinions of particular parents in the first two conditions, and a national standard for “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value” rather than a community standard in the third condition. Therefore, even if a parent is initially involved in putting a book forward for consideration as meeting the federal definition of obscene material, the parent is not ultimately responsible in any meaningful way if the book ends up meeting the definition. The rest of my argument deals with other books that are not obscene. Pro misrepresents my argument as being based solely on the federal law against obscene material.

"Comparing Jam's approach in relying on federal law without parent involvement vs. my approach in allowing local schools decide with parents, there will be a bigger cost and longer period in time to develop decisions in courts. This was hinted towards in questions in previous rounds with some explanation (connecting dots as to why/how). "
If Pro wants voters to seriously consider that the system by which parents can challenge books and get them banned will save money and time, they should have provided estimates of cost savings with evidence, otherwise the voters would only have Pro's word to go on.

I also must address some of the questionable evidence provided by Pro in the previous round.

Pro provides several links that are irrelevant to this debate, as they deal with class trips and not books in school libraries. Being an occurrence at a school is not enough for the linked stories to be relevant to a debate about parents banning school library books in particular.

Various books have been brought into question because they explicitly depict sex and sexual content across communities with diverse demographics
https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/old-lyme-sex-ed-books-library-challenged-18174678.php
In the story linked above, people challenged sex education books based on their objection to the sexual content. This is just another instance of some people thinking that a book is inappropriate, while others disagree. Why should the most prudish individuals determine which aspects of sexual education are appropriate or not?


A northern Virginia school system said it is removing two books from school libraries, including an illustrated memoir that contains explicit illustrations of sexual encounters involving children, after a parent expressed concern about them at a school board meeting

Books that are inappropriate for students seep trough the cracks one way or another. Should we really accept them in our libraries?

The book in question is Gender Queer. From the Wikipedia article:

“In one commonly cited panel, a 14-year-old Kobabe fantasizes about a scene in which an older man touches the penis of a youth. The illustration is based on a piece of painted ancient Greek pottery depicting a "courting scene."[24][2] Detractors have described this as a depiction of pedophilia.[25][26]

Pro bolding the text that references this panel in a reductive way, and without context, is misleading. If I refer to the Bible as a book in which a man who offers his daughters as sexual objects to multiple men of the city is later drugged and incestuously raped by the same daughters, would that convince you to ban the Bible from American school libraries? The book Gender Queer has some sexually explicit content, as the Bible and many other books do. Gender Queer also tells a story of growing into one’s non-binary gender identity, which is important for some young people to read. Parents’ personal objections to one part of the book should not result in it being banned from school libraries.

2. Parental rights
When Pro criticises my argument by saying that parents and students who want to keep a book in the school library that other parents want to ban are stepping on the rights of the censorious parents, they fail to realise that there is no "right" to ban something that an individual finds objectionable, but there is a well established right to read. If Pro tries to obfuscate their real claim that parents have a right to ban books by nominally claiming they have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children, they run into the problem when this supposed "right" interferes with the rights of others. Just as one’s right to swing their fist ends where another person’s face begins, the supposed “right” of a parent to control what their own child reads ends when it affects what other unrelated children can read. Those who want the book in the library are entitled to it under the principle of the freedom to read. Those who want to ban a book are like those who want to swing their fists despite other’s being entitled to freedom from bodily harm. A school library may be the only source of literature for many disadvantaged children, so it would do those children a great harm to ban books from school libraries.

3. Alternative options for parents
I extend my arguments.

4. Criticisms of Pro's case
My case against the parental rights argument already identifies issues in Pro's case, but I will add the following.

Schools host classes of students in multiple age groups (e.g.,  high schools teach ages 14-18), but when Pro bases their argument on the idea that "All school libraries need appropriate content based on age,  stage/development, school direction." they don't differentiate between what is "appropriate" or "inappropriate" content for students of different age and development within the same school. If we are to follow Pro's logic, high school libraries could be faced with bans on books for their 18 year-old students because the parents of 14 year-old students think they are inappropriate for their children.

In round 3, Pro found the need to emphasize that parts of their round 2 post were related to their own argument and not refutations of mine, despite being included under the header of “Con round 1.” Pro’s mixing of their own argument and attempts to refute mine are confusing, and along with their relatively poor formatting, should give the advantage to Con in terms of legibility.