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Harry Potter in the Classroom: Your Rights

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CBN.com - In a radio interview with Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, a caller had the following concern:

LISA FROM CALIFORNIA: I wrote a note to my 8-year-old son’s teacher asking that he be excluded from having to participate in a class reading of the Harry Potter books. As far as I know, the teacher has been okay with that, but my son is still sitting in the classroom, just over in a corner of the room. Is there anything I can do?

JAY SEKULOW: We’re getting a lot of calls on the Harry Potter books. I haven’t read them myself, but I understand there’s a lot of parental concern. Here’s what I would say:

If you don’t want your son present during that time, he needs to be given an alternate reading assignment that he could do someplace outside the classroom. I’d also talk to the school administration about this, and see if you can get some more community support for your position as well. While you don’t want to get into the book banning business—that’s a dangerous way to go—parents around the country are expressing concern about the subject matter in these books. Parents need to speak out to the administrators of their school system. It’s part of the political process; it’s part of the constitutional process. Parents have the right and responsibility to be guardians to their children, including while they attend public school.

Under the Constitution, you have the right to petition the government for the redress of grievances. This is a grievance. If you think this is being handled incorrectly, or you don’t like this particular book in your child’s curriculum or being read aloud in the classroom, you need to voice your opinion. I would encourage you to do that.

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