Far Out Friday: Principal says fantasy novels cause brain damage

by James Reid20 May 2016

A UK principal has warned students that books such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings may cause brain damage.

Graeme Whiting, principal and founder of the Acorn School – an independent private school in Gloucestershire – published a blog post titled: ‘The imagination of a child’ in which he singled out popular fantasy novels as “deeply insensitive and addictive material”.

What’s more, he believes there should be a special licence required when purchasing such books.

“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,” he wrote.

“…yet they can be bought without a special license, 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.”

Whiting said he wanted children to read literature that was conducive to their age and “leave those mystical and frightening texts for when they can discern reality, and when they have first learned to love beauty”.

“Buying sensational books is like feeding your child with spoons of added sugar, heaps of it, and when the child becomes addicted it will seek more and more, which if related to books, fills the bank vaults of those who write un-sensitive books for young children,” he said.

Whiting added it was the duty of parents to spend time to study such matters and form their own conclusions – not to think that “because the world is filled with such sensational literature they have to have it for their children”.

The principal signs off:

“Beware the devil in the text! Choose beauty for your young children!”

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