CHILDREN'S BOOKS WITHDRAWN FOR 'NOT BEING PRO-FAMILY'
I AM concerned about Singaporeans' polarising responses towards the National Library Board's decision to remove several children's books that contain references to homosexuality ("Not right forum for discussion" by Mr Darius Lee and "Not NLB's role to promote ideology" by Mr Benjamin Joshua Ong; both published yesterday).
Adopting two diametrically opposed positions will only increase animosity between the "pro-family" and "liberal" camps and hurt our social fabric.
To resolve this issue amicably and prevent further social confrontation, I would like to suggest a compromise.
Instead of banning the books, the NLB could place them in a "closed shelves" section that is out-of-bounds to the public.
Only parents can borrow books from this section by making a request to the librarian; children are not allowed to do so.
Parents who have no qualms about educating their children on different family types can borrow these books for their children, while those who are "pro-family" need not worry that their children might read these books.
While this solution may not be perfect, I hope it is moderate enough to satisfy the demands of both camps and preserve our country's social harmony.
Chan Cheng Lin
This article was first published on July 11, 2014.
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