Opinion: Censorship counterproductive in academic settings

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Censorship in academic realms is counterproductive.

Censorship is defined as "the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security," by the Oxford Dictionary.

In recent years, books, such as To Kill a Mockingbird, have been banned from multiple academic institutions for being "harmful" or "uncomfortable" for students. 

Personally, I think being uncomfortable is a part of learning. You can not learn if you refuse to go outside of your own experiences.

In the case of To Kill a Mockingbird, it deals with sensitive topics such as racism and rape. Many schools have banned the book from being taught in classes. Students can not learn about sensitive topics and how to deal with them if the administration refuses to teach them.

Outside of books, censorship affects speech as well. In most high schools and workplaces, there is punishment for using “profanity”. 

The idea of banning certain terms from academic areas is ridiculous. I can say a profane word or I can use a more “sensitive” term that means the same thing, although one is deemed inappropriate. How can two words mean the same thing but only one is okay to say?

In addition, there is always an occasion when an alternative word does not convey my meaning quite right. I have to alter my sentence and opinion so as to not offend anyone with a word. 

Academic spaces should not be censored, as it affects the ability to truly learn. When books are deemed “uncomfortable”, teach them anyway if they have a lesson.