A Catholic school in Nashville is making sure nobody’s going to confuse it for Hogwarts.
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Reehil explained. “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 text.”
Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of Catholic schools in Nashville, said the priest was “well within his authority to act in that manner.”
“We really don't get into censorship in such selections other than making sure that what we put in our school libraries is age appropriate materials for our classrooms,” she said.
This isn’t the first time that J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard has been deemed persona non grata by a school. The seven novels in the fantasy series have faced several challenges and bans over the years; they’re a mainstay of the American Library Association’s annual list of banned books.
The books have also been met with suspicion by Catholic clergy in the past. Earlier this year, a group of Catholic priests in Poland burned copies of the books because of their magical content. (The priests didn’t single out the Boy Who Lived — also getting the fire treatment were Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books, and, for some reason, a Hello Kitty umbrella.)
Austin, Texas-based journalist Michael Schaub is a regular contributor to NPR.