U.K. Principal Claims Fantasy Novels Cause Brain Damage
A U.K. principal has come out claiming fantasy novels will cause brain damage to impressionable children.
Graeme Whiting, founder and headmaster of Gloucestershire’s Acorn School, recently wrote a blog post that condemned popular series such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Lord of The Rings.
Whiting’s missive reads in part:
“I want children to read literature that is 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. “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 behavior in children; yet they can be bought without a special licence (sic), 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 goes on to say that parents should keep a strict and controlling eye on the materials they’re teenage children read, equating the situation to a young mother testing the temperature of her baby’s milk.
“Last week I saw a mother sitting on a bench in a shopping mall with her young baby, sampling the milk from its bottle to make sure it was the right temperature and flowed freely. … Will that same mother, in thirteen years time, when that baby becomes an opinionated young teenager, be able to offer the same care?”
It should be noted that Whiting’s theories are contradicted by most research on the subject, including a recent Scientific American article from researcher Deena Weisberg that sourced studies that indicate that “unrealistic scenarios help children see the possibilities inherent in reality.”
Suffice to say, Mr. Whiting most likely won’t be getting a Hogwarts letter any time soon.