- St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville has taken all of the “Harry Potter” books out of its library.
- In an email reviewed by The Tennessean, Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at the K-8 school, said the “books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception.”
- Reehil also said in his email he consulted several exorcists who suggested that he remove the books from the school.
- The “Harry Potter” books are still on shelves at other affiliated Catholic schools in the area, superintendent Rebecca Hammel said.
- It’s not the first time the “Potter” books have been banned.
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A pastor at St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville has decided that the “Harry Potter” books are not appropriate for students because the spells in them “risk conjuring evil spirits.”
In an email reviewed by The Tennessean, Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at the school, said the “books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception” and were removed from the school library’s shelves.
The email continues: “The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.”
Reehil wrote that he came to the decision after consulting exorcists in the US and Rome who suggested that he remove the books from the school, The Tennessean reported.
Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, told The Tennessean that Reehil emailed parents about his decision to remove the “Harry Potter” books after a parent reached out to him. Insider reached out to Reehil, but he is currently out of office until Wednesday, accord to an automated response.
“Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school,” Hammel said. “He’s well within his authority to act in that manner.”
Hammel also sent an email to parents, saying Reehil made the decision “out of concern for the well-being of our students,” NBC-affiliated WSMV reported. In her email, she added that the books “have never been part of the curriculum and were only made available in the school library for enrichment reading.”
Read more: 10 books that have been banned in schools
The superintendent told The Tennessean that the “Potter” books were on shelves in the St. Edward’s school library as recently as the 2018-2019 school year. Hammel told The Tennessean that over the summer the school opened a new library. She suggested that the books might have been removed when the K-8 school switched libraries.
“I know that in the process they were going through and kind of weeding out some of the content in hopes of sprucing it up and improving the circulation,” Hammel said.
Hammel said that she believes the “Harry Potter” series is still available for loan at the libraries at other Nashville-area schools within the diocese.
The seven-book “Harry Potter” series was first published in 1997 and has actually been banned several times. In the early 2000s the books often topped banned book lists, with complaints that they promoted “anti-family,” violent, and Satanic values.
Insider has reached out to St. Edward Catholic School and Rebecca Hammel for comment.
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