Harry Potter


"York parents protest 'Potter' witchcraft"

(AP, December 10, 2001)


YORK, Pa. - A committee of the Eastern York School District will consider later this month a request from some parents to ban the Harry Potter books from district schools.
Parent Deb DiEugenio told the board last week that she became upset when her sixth-grade daughter brought home a permission slip for her to read a Harry Potter book as part of the instruction.
"It's against my daughter's constitution, it's evil, it's witchcraft," DiEugenio said. "I'm not paying taxes to teach my child witchcraft."
Four children did not take part in the middle school reading and were temporarily assigned to a different classroom, school administrators said.
The books' U.S. publisher, Scholastic Inc., issued a statement urging against any such move.
"We do not believe that a parent has the right to tell another parent what their child should or should not read," the company said. "We are absolutely opposed to any sort of banning or censorship of a book based on the view of some readers that the book is harmful."
Pastor Tony Leanza of the New Wine Christian Center, also a teacher in the district, accompanied DiEugenio and tried to engage the board in a debate about the series by J.K. Rowling.
Board members declined and instead scheduled the matter for discussion at an Education Committee meeting Dec. 17.
The Rev. Christine Aubin, director of communications for the Witches' League of Public Awareness, called for tolerance.
"In a day and age when people are killing others in the name of the one true religion and the one true God, perhaps a less combative path for inter-religious dialogue needs to be sought. . ." Aubin said in a statement.
Opponents of the Potter series have called for the books to be banned from libraries and have staged book burnings. The Potter books topped the banned book list for 2000 compiled by the American Library Association.