High school principal says ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ cause brain damage

Actor Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Sure, “Harry Potter” books were suspiciously bewitching but one British headmaster has gone so far as to say they cause brain damage.

And it’s not just “Harry Potter” that has Graeme Whiting concerned. He’s also thrown “Lord of the Rings,” “Game of Thrones” and “The Hunger Games” under the bus. Whiting, who works at The Acorn School in the U.K., recently wrote a blog post about how he believes fantasy texts have negative effects on children. Here’s a short excerpt from the lengthy post that has gone viral:

Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, and Terry Pratchett, to mention only a few of the modern world’s ‘must-haves’, contain deeply insensitive and addictive material which I am certain encourages difficult behaviour in children; yet they can be bought without a special licence, and can damage the sensitive subconscious brains of young children, many of whom may be added to the current statistics of mentally ill young children.

Fantasy writer Samantha Shannon even wrote an article for The Guardian arguing that Whiting is wrong.

“As an author of dystopian fiction, my senses tingle when anyone – educators and politicians most of all – launch into these sorts of attacks on popular books,” she wrote.

Whether you agree with Whiting, he has some parting words for all of us: “Beware the devil in the text! Choose beauty for your young children!”

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