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Principal says 'mystical texts' like 'Harry Potter' damage brains

Graeme Whiting is the principal of The Acorn School in Nailsworth, England.

Whiting's post, on the school's website, titled "The Imagination of the Child," argues that "dark, demonic literature, carefully sprinkled with ideas of magic, of control and of ghostly and frightening stories," can cause brain damage in young children.

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Whiting specifically suggests that books like "Harry Potter," "Lord of the Rings," "Game of Thrones," and "The Hunger Games" have "deeply insensitive and addictive material," which he says leads to "difficult behavior" in children.

"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," Whiting said.

Whiting added that those books "can be bought without a special license" and reading the books can "damage the sensitive subconscious brains of young children, many of whom may be added to the current statistics of mentally ill young children."

The Los Angeles Times reported that Whiting founded The Acorn School in 1991.

The Independent reported that the school does not take state exams and students are not required to wear uniforms.

Whiting said in his post that he stands for "old-fashioned values of traditional literature (and) classical poetry." He goes on to list poets like William Wordsworth and John Keats, writer Charles Dickens, and playwright and poet William Shakespeare.

But Whiting neglected to mention the violence portrayed in the works of those creators, which is pointed out by Bustle writer Kristian Wilson.

"I don't think that Whiting has ever read any of those authors," Wilson wrote. "If he had, he'd know that Wordsworth's Lucy poems are full of dead women, Keats' 'Lamia' is all about sex, the Shelleys wrote tales of torture and horror, Dickens' body of work is full of prostitutes and orphans, and Shakespeare covered every graphic and occult theme you can think of."

Dystopian writer Samantha Shannon also made a similar argument in her post on The Guardian.

But a parent and former teacher at The Acorn School named Nikki Ellis told The Plymouth Herald that she agreeds with Whiting.

"Having read the first book of Harry Potter and watched one of the movies, I feel that the darkness of the books is so palpable that it wasn't the sort of thing that we would want to expose young children to in their formative years," Ellis said. "(Children) are being exposed to things that can drag them into the dark world and the occult."

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