What Values Are We Trying To Teach Our Children?



Dishonesty without repercussion, vengeance on a whim, disobeying elders and practicing sorcery. These, according to a recent letter to the editor authored by Susan Campbell in the Friday, Dec. 7 issue, show "exemplary character that would make any parent proud." These are not values that have always been espoused in America as exemplary. They are, of course, values and actions that can be attributed to the infamous Harry Potter of the J.K. Rowling series.

Before I am judged as uninformed, I must say that I have read The Prisoner of Azkaban. At the time I read this particular book, there were signs of unrest about the Harry Potter series. In an attempt to read the book with an unbiased viewpoint (which was very well written consequently), I was greatly disappointed that here we had a story about a child who is not punished for being disobedient, dishonest, and vengeful (and practices witchcraft, by the way). Why do we yearn for our children to follow this example?

Regarding Alan Ammann's guest comment, he makes several statements that bring a gut reaction, but lack true substance. He says that we might actually make children think reading is wrong by speaking out against this particular book.

He states that the Bible allowed the extermination of many Indians. He implies that children will have their growth (intellectual, I hope and presume) stunted without our favorite little dishonest, disobedient and vengeful character. He implies that without Harry Potter, more terrorist acts will occur.

I only have one question to ask Mr. Ammann. Would it be wrong to ask for intelligent and (substantiated) dialogue on the issue?

I would also like to address the political cartoon, also in the Dec. 7 Roundup. To compare those concerned with a story about a child of questionable character and the potential of this character to be very influential on our children with those in Afghanistan who shelter terrorists who killed thousands of our citizens is inexcusable and will kill discussion of the issue faster than a liberal can say "tolerance."

We need to ask ourselves, who is served by this exaggerated and harmful name-calling and mudslinging? Who is served by character assassination and negative stereotyping? It certainly is not our children.

I would tell the parents to read the stories for themselves. They need to ask themselves, "are these the values that we wish to be evident in our children?"

I make the argument, they are not.

Jason Burton, Pine

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