'Evil' Harry Potter and the Head Who Has Banned Him; Best-Selling Stories 'Make Wickedness Look like Fun'
Byline: NEIL SEARS
TO millions of children, Harry Potter is a bespectacled schoolboy hero who uses magic to help him through his adventures.
To millions of parents, he is the character who has encouraged their computer games-obsessed offspring to relish reading.
But to headmistress Carol Rookwood, Harry Potter, the creation of British author JK Rowling, is a thoroughly evil influence.
She has banned the three Harry Potter books from the library at St Mary's Church of England primary school in Chatham, Kent, and suggested parents take similar action at home, warning that the stories expose vulnerable young people to aspects of the occult.
While some parents support her, others are outraged at the ban which echoes a trend in America, where some Christian fundamentalist groups have attacked the books.
The series portrays Harry as an orphan, deeply unhappy at life with his strict uncle and aunt, until he discovers he is actually a wizard and joins a school of witchcraft and wizardry.
Adventure ensues. Harry rides a broomstick, attends lessons about werewolves, and his friends celebrate Hallowe'en.
According to Mrs Rookwood, the books go against the teaching of the Bible.
School governors have backed her.
Mrs Rookwood said in a letter to her local newspaper: 'Something wicked is made to look fun. I believe it is confusing to children. Children believe in the forces of evil just as much as the forces of good.
The parents may not agree - that is their privilege.
'Parents have the final say in what their children read at home but I have the final say in what they read at school.' Last night Mrs Rookwood, who has three children aged 19 to 30, defended her stance, saying: 'If I think something is harmful I would not be doing my job if I let my pupils have access to it.' She said she was not against books portraying evil overcome by good but felt the Potter plots went too far. …