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Harry Potter gets vote of confidence from Ga. school board

By The Associated Press
05.12.06

SUWANEE, Ga. — The Gwinnett County school board voted last night to reject a parent's pleas to take Harry Potter books out of school libraries. The mother of three elementary school students claims the books promote witchcraft.

"At the very heart of this issue is censorship," board member Carole Boyce said before the unanimous vote. "Our students do understand the difference between fact and fiction."

Laura Mallory of Loganville, who has three children in a Gwinnett elementary school, asked the state's largest school district to ban the books by J.K. Rowling. Mallory said after the vote that she had not decided whether to appeal the board's decision.

"I knew what they were going to do, but it's good we live in a country where you can stand up for what you believe in," said Mallory, a former missionary. "God is alive and real and he says it (witchcraft) is an abomination. How can we say it is good reading material?"

Mallory filed her complaint in September. A media-review panel composed of parents, teachers and community members at J.C. Magill Elementary, where Mallory's three children are in school, rejected the complaint. The panel was backed up by the school district administrators.

Board member Mary Kay Murphy, a former English teacher, said the books help students develop the critical-thinking skills they need to be successful in high school, college and life.

"I support the value of the Harry Potter books to develop children's imagination and ability to read," she said.


Update
Ga. mom asks state to bar Harry Potter from school libraries
Laura Mallory, who claims books seek to indoctrinate children as Wiccans, appeals local school board's decision to state officials. 10.05.06

Related

Potter books cause stir in Pennsylvania town

Group is refusing to direct traffic at YMCA event because club is reading books about boy wizard to children. 01.24.02

Put Harry Potter back on shelves, group asks
Cedarville, Ark., public school library took popular fantasy novels out of circulation. 03.04.03

Federal judge orders Harry Potter back onto library shelves
Arkansas school board had removed books from general circulation last year, claiming the tales of wizards, spells would harm schoolchildren. 04.23.03

Idaho school board rejects minister's request to ban book
The Chocolate War had been pulled temporarily from English curriculum because of complaints of negative portrayal of Christians. 05.11.06

Banned books

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