Essay: Censorship - The Censorship of America's Youth and...

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The Censorship of America’s Youth and the Destruction of Freedom Though many subjects and beliefs covered in education may be deemed inappropriate or controversial, educators should not be able to prohibit the individual expression of students so long as the information is presented in a non-threatening form. Examples of these controversial subjects range from communism and Nazism to liberal vs. conservative political ideologies. It is imperative to ensuring the freedom of America’s youth that educators shall not be able to limit their students in regards to subjects they choose to write about. In essence, students should be free to explore all areas of their interests provided that they neither imply nor explicitly state that they will cause harm to themselves or others. The movie “American History X” contains a perfect example of a particular student’s freedoms being infringed upon. High school student Danny Vineyard had a difficult life and as a result, turned to a lifestyle that most would view as immoral. Danny is given the assignment of writing a paper about any book that has contributed to the advancement of civil rights. The paper that he then writes, to spite his Jewish teacher, is about Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf . It is never explained what exactly Danny’s paper contains, but it is implied that it is of high quality as Danny asserts “I did what he said, I wrote an A paper”. The paper fits the assigned criteria; however his principal, Dr. Sweeney, takes it upon himself to assign Danny a new paper, one about how his brother, Derek, has shaped his life. While normally it is unethical to force an alternative assignment upon a student because of a conflict of interests, it is necessary to explain the deeper meaning of Danny’s new assignment. Principal Sweeney’s purpose in assigning Danny a new paper is trying to stimulate a realization within him that will lead to a reformation similar to that of his brother’s. He is aware
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of how much Danny admires his older brother, co-founder of a white supremacy gang in their home town of Venice Beach, California. When Derek is sent away for killing two young black men, Danny does all he can to become what he thinks Derek would be proud of. Danny joins the gang Derek founded, shaves his head, has the gang symbol tattooed on his arm, and makes different friends all in an effort to be more like his brother. However, unbeknownst to Danny,
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Essay: Censorship - The Censorship of America's Youth and...

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