Nashville Catholic School bans Harry Potter, Leesville Media Center Specialist Weighs in

Janelle Barnett, a junior, is an avid reader. She loves the Harry Potter series, including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. (Photo Courtesy of Emma Nani)

Library shelves in a Nashville, Tennessee school are empty of the classic series Harry Potter, written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter is one of the highest selling books series and is popular among kids and teens. Unfortunately, the children of St. Edward Catholic School won’t be able to enjoy the series in school because administrators have decided to ban the book. 

Reverend Dan Reehil, a pastor at the school, sent out an email to parents of the K-8 students. In the email he stated, “These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the texts.” Reehil consulted several exorcists throughout the United States and Rome who decided to take the books out of the students’ possession.

When asked about the situation, Erica Knightstep, Leesville’s Library Media Coordinator, said, “Banning books seems undemocratic to me. Again, I understand if a parent wants to keep a book out of his/her child’s hands—-I respect that completely. Banning a book, however, isn’t something I can support.” The Leesville library has never banned a book.

Harry Potter has had a past of being a controversial book series in schools and some religions. However, to most, the series is just about a teenage boy trying to survive in a fantasy world. Knightstep also said, “I believe in the freedom to read. It’s one of the greatest rights we have in this country.”



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