[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 14 July 2005, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
'Evil' Harry Potter day cancelled
Harry Potter
The new Harry Potter book is launched on Saturday
A primary school cancelled a Harry Potter day over complaints it could lead children into "areas of evil".

Pupils from The Holt Primary School in Skellingthorpe, Lincs, were planning to dress up as witches and wizards.

But the event - to mark the launch of the new JK Rowling book - was scrapped after parents and a local rector expressed concerns about witchcraft.

Headteacher Paul Martin said the rector claimed he was seeking "to lead our children into areas of evil".

May I reassure parents that my staff and I only wished to raise the profile of reading
Headteacher Paul Martin

Children are said to have been left upset and confused by the cancellation of the day, which was due to be held before the launch of Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince on Saturday.

In a letter to parents, headteacher Paul Martin wrote: "When I received a letter from the rector which suggested that I was 'seeking to lead our children into areas of evil', I felt that the situation was escalating disproportionately.

"May I reassure parents that my staff and I only wished to raise the profile of reading.

"We did not wish to cause any offence or upset and the fact that it has turned sour is entirely regrettable.

"I now wish to put this behind us and pull together to make the end of term a happy and positive experience."

Mr Martin said he had been advised by the county council not to make any comment on his decision to scrap the event.

An education spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council said: "The children's book has been published nationally and internationally.

"Schools make their own decisions as to the relevance of this book in their children's study programme."




SEE ALSO:
US boy buys new Harry Potter book
14 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Potter fan wins Rowling interview
10 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Harry Potter tops children's poll
02 Jun 04 |  Entertainment


RELATED BBC LINKS:


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific