The Controversy Over Harry Potter
The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling has created quite a stir among public schools and churches. Some parents and ministers are afraid these books are teaching wizardry, witchcraft, and evil to their children, while others think they are books of harmless fantasy. There are two sides to this controversy, but I believe that these are just a way for kids to make-believe and imagine.
The Harry Potter books are about a boy who learns he has special powers and attends a school called Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Here we find trials against good and evil, where good triumphs. There have been some parents who have protested these books and have been trying to get them banned from schools. In Clarence, New York, at Ledgeview Elementary School, Eric Poliner isn’t allowed to listen when his teacher, Mrs. Cusack, reads Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone aloud to her fifth grade students. His mom has him sit in the library and study while the other students listen to the story. Eric says, “There’s a lot about witchcraft and evil and spells and magic. I was taught at church that that was not good” (Wilogren). The reasoning behind the claims made is that some people say that witchcraft is a religion, and religion shouldn’t be taught in school. There have been other such challenges to these books filed in at least eight states (Wilogren).
In an interview with Pam Chatfield, a second grade teacher from Belleville, Kansas, I found that she has three students who are not allowed to listen to any of the Potter books. She said that these students attend the Wesleyan Church in Belleville. The minister there has preached against reading and teaching these books to children. According to Mrs. Chatfield, he says they teach the work of the devil and that one of the parents believes it “teaches kids to lie and steal” (Chatfield). Mrs. Chatfield doesn’t...