Banning Beloved

In light of the recent efforts by a local high school mother to ban Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved from Fairfax County Schools after her son experienced nightmares while studying the novel, a discussion here at Marshall began because the IB English HL 2 classes recently read the novel. Beloved depicts events containing a slew of sensitive and offensive topics such as infanticide, bestiality, and rape; it’s understandable why some people object to the text being taught.
Beloved was given 1) without any warning as to the sensitive issues in the book, and 2) without an alternative text to read. How Beloved was presented was wrong; however, the worst possible solution in my opinion is to ban Beloved from being taught. This text should be presented with a warning about the topics and an alternative novel to study if students choose to not read Beloved. Although this solution causes more work and trouble for teachers, it’s a much better solution than banning the Pulitzer Prize winning piece of literature from Fairfax County.
My argument for opposing a ban doesn’t solely rely on our constitutional rights, but banning this work would be censorship, and that’s something I will never support. If some students object to the novel being taught, fine. An alternative text should be provided; however, the rest of the students that don’t mind reading the novel shouldn’t be deprived of studying this incredibly valuable piece of literature because others are offended by it. I respect the opinions of those that object to reading the book, but since the novel is being taught as a vital and integral part of the curriculum, those who don’t object to the novel shouldn’t be denied the enormous educational value that the novel provides in an IB classroom setting simply because others are offended.