Young adult author Stacy Padula says, “Schools need to wake up and realize that in a world where 13 year olds are overdosing on heroin, a book that educates kids on the perils of opiate addiction would be a GOOD THING to make them read, preferably at age 11 or 12.” How many opioid related teenage deaths are going to have to occur in the US before schools realize they are not protecting kids by banning books that address drug abuse; they are actually robbing them of knowledge that could save their lives!
I write books in hopes of helping kids avoid making destructive decisions. The new teen book series I am 490 pages into writing is VERY REALISTIC, but that would likely get it BANNED from schools because of the drug use and sexual relationships within it. Yet, those things are a reality in today’s world. Kids need to know the truth about opiate and benzo addiction. They also need to understand how easily it can be to get a slutty reputation. I want the series I’m writing to be placed in school libraries to educate kids on things some parents are afraid to talk about, but it will likely get banned BECAUSE it addresses those things. It is so frustrating! Do parents really think teenagers do not talk about sex and drugs? How can we educate the youth about the perils of substance abuse if schools won’t allow books to be read that contain such information? As an author, it is mind boggling. Parents get upset if Susie comes home with a book from school that has characters who have sex or do drugs…. but Susie likely hears about those topics on a daily basis while standing at her locker! How naive are school administrators to think teenagers cannot handle reading about things they’ve probably been hearing about from their peers since they were 10 years old?