She wants Harry Potter to disappear
Mom seeks school ban on `harmful' books
By Giovanna Dell'Orto
Published October 5, 2006
ATLANTA -- A suburban county that sparked a public outcry when its libraries temporarily eliminated funding for Spanish-language fiction is now being asked to ban Harry Potter books from its schools.Laura Mallory, a mother of four, told a hearing officer for the state Board of Education on Tuesday that the popular fiction series is an "evil" attempt to indoctrinate children in the Wicca religion.
But Victoria Sweeny, an attorney for the Gwinnett County Board of Education in Atlanta's eastern suburbs, said that if schools were to remove all books containing reference to witches, they would have to ban "Macbeth" and "Cinderella.""There's a mountain of evidence for keeping Harry Potter," she said, adding that the books don't support any particular religion but instead present universal themes of friendship and overcoming adversity.In June, the county's library board eliminated $3,000 that had been set aside to buy Spanish-language fiction in the coming fiscal year. One board member said the move came after some residents objected to using taxpayer dollars for readers who might be illegal immigrants.Days later, the board reversed its decision amid accusations that the move was anti-Hispanic.
As for the Potter books, Mallory said: "They're not educationally suitable and have been shown to be harmful to some kids." She said the books promote the Wicca religion, and yet teachers do not assign other religious books like the Bible as student reading.Mallory, who first tried to get her son's elementary school to ban the books in August 2005, said Harry Potter is harmful to children who cannot tell reality from fantasy.Referring to some recent deadly assaults at schools, she said books that promote evil--as she claims the Potter stories do--help foster the kind of culture where school shootings happen.The state board will decide the case in December.Wiccans may consider themselves witches, pagans or neo-pagans, and say their religion is based on respect for the Earth, nature and the cycle of the seasons.
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