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Letter: Before banning books, check those video games

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As a child I loved to read, a passion that has continued into my adult life. I can’t say I knew about controversial books in the 70s or even banned books. Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys were some of my favorites.

As a social media safety consultant and teacher, the juxtaposition about banning books in schools, middle schools in particular, is outrageous. The reason for banning books, according to parents, is the content is not appropriate for their “precious” children. There was even a call for legal charges against teachers who provide “pornographic” books.

Huh, interesting. Are these the same parents whose kids have unlimited access to the internet before the age of 13, hear inappropriate language, view nudity and make friends with strangers while gaming? The average age of a child viewing internet pornography is 11 years. Kids don’t have to be looking for pornography; it is programmed to find them.

While playing video games, players can hear profanity from others as well as exchange voice chat messages with strangers. Afraid of violence in literature? The object of one of the most popular video games is to kill everyone else before you are killed.

One game in particular, popular among boys, is rated M, for mature. The average age of a player is 13. This game exploits drug use, racism, nudity, language, drunk driving and violence against both civilians and law enforcement personnel.

Parents, you don’t want your child to read a particular book because of the content? Then I urge you to check out your child’s online activity and texting. I’m sure you’ll be more shocked at the language your child is using when texting than in any book at their school library. As much as you feel you have a right to ban a book, you have a parental obligation to view everything your child is doing online.

Ronna Glickman

Education Ambassador, Screen Strong

Amherst

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