Friday, December 15, 2006

Harry Potter and the Dumbass from Georgia

The widely popular Harry Potter series has been controversial since the first book hit the shelves in the late 90’s. But the only place this book as seen cases on banning and courtroom drama is in the United States. It seems we have some people in this country that didn’t pay attention to that whole “Freedom of Speech” thing in the Bill of Rights. The most recent case comes from Georgia, but it looks like Harry prevailed.
Harry Potter has traveled to many parts of the world. He has learned many languages and is friends with children of all ages. On one of his travels, Harry flew into the schools of Gwinnett County, Georgia. There were many fans of his in the local school and libraries couldn’t keep Harry around long enough for everyone. But there was one person in the county that despised Harry Potter more than the Dark Lord himself. That person was Laura Mallory. In October of 2005, she asked a local committee to ban Harry from the schools because, she says, he promotes violence and witchcraft.
But Mallory didn’t know who she was dealing with. She apparently didn’t even know what country she was living in. Her first application for banning Harry was denied. She, however, continued to fight. She appealed her case before another group of officials that told her the same thing, “Harry stays. Now get lost.” According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website, “at all levels the decision has been to keep the books on the shelves.” And Harry was pleased.
The state board of education in Georgia seems to agree with the other committees as well. They ruled that Gwinnett County did nothing wrong by keeping Harry in the schools and that the decision was ultimately up to them. So again, Harry and his friends were pleased. When asked for comment on the debacle, the Dumbass from Georgia simply said, “I didn't do a good enough legal job because I didn't hire a lawyer.” She can of course take the case to the Georgia Supreme Court, but I think Harry will do just fine. It is nice to see that freedom of speech still lives in Georgia, at least on some level. Hooray for Harry!!!

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