I’m listening to Spring Awakening and it made me think about books that are banned from schools. I think one of the greatest reasons to allow access to controversial books, particularly coming-of-age books, books about prejudice, and books about depression, is that young people need to know that they’re not alone in their thoughts–other people have been through the same things, and they can learn from those experiences, fiction or nonfiction.

In Spring Awakening, the characters are restricted from sex education, and as a result, they don’t know the immediate consequences of what they’re doing. It’s an important message to consider: Over-protecting people can keep them from being able to protect themselves.

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