Layton: Banning of manga at Magnolia Middle should be rescinded


“My right to swing my fist ends where the next person’s nose begins.”

The adage means no one’s rights supersede anyone else’s rights or well-being.

And the concept applies to parents’ discretion over what their children read or don’t read.

They can guide their own children, but they cannot veto other families’ educational choices.
Recently, the principal of Magnolia Middle School in the Caesar Rodney School District crafted a policy that prompted the removal of Japanese graphic novels, aka “manga.”

By doing so, he catered to the personal tastes and moral judgments of a few reactionaries but paid little mind to the rights of students and families who see manga as a gateway to the larger world of literature.

Such assaults on our liberties are spreading throughout the country.

Opponents of intellectual freedom march under a banner of “decency,” but they target books written by women and minority groups who hold points of view other than their own.

Meanwhile, books that serve their ideological agenda, such as the Bible, escape censorship.

The Bible, for example, portrays rape, incest, infanticide, genocide and torture, but dozens of Bibles sit upon Magnolia Middle School shelves, unquestioned.

I support students’ right to read them — if they choose.

I want that same freedom for everyone.

If you live in the district, attend the school board meeting to express concerns. It will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at Magnolia Middle.

Or send thoughts to

Greg Layton


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