Harry Potter, the series of fantasy novels penned by J. K. Rowling will disappear from the St. Edward Catholic School's library in Nashville, the institution confirmed.
The students will no longer be able to benefit from the books in the library after the Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at the school, found its content inappropriate.
Rev. Reehil wrote a letter explaining that the books present magic as both good and evil, which in the pastor's words is a clever deception. He also pointed out that the books contain actual curses and spells. In his view, the controversial language could conjure evil spirits into the students reading the texts.
Rev. Reehil also highlighted that before taking the decision, he consulted numerous exorcists in the United States and Rome. They also recommended him to remove the books from the school library.
Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of Catholic schools for the area of Nashville, confirmed that Reehil informed her about his decision. She backed him up, saying that it is within his authority to act in that way.
Asked whether the Harry Potter books are still available for loan in the other school libraries throughout the diocese, Hammel replied that probably they still are. She also clarified they were still present in St. Edward's old school library, which was still in use during the last academic year.
For the 2019-2020 academic year, St. Edward opened a new library. The Harry Potter series was removed from the catalog of the new one, Hammel confirmed. She was not aware whether some other books were outlawed from the library for similar reasons.
The first Harry Potter novel was published 20 years ago, in 1997. Since then, the series has been an object to constant controversies. The books depict the adventures of the wizard Harry Potter and his attempts to save the world from the evil Lord Voldemort.
Because of its story line, the series has been banned in various schools in the United States. The author, J.K. Rowling, has often been criticized for promoting witchcraft and going against traditional Christian beliefs.
According to the American Library Association, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was the most frequently challenged book of the year in 1999.
Rowling openly declined the allegations that her books lead kids to Satanism. In her view, people tend to find in books what they want to see.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree that such fantasy books should be removed from the school libraries?