Alan Simpson: The latest school cancelling of JK Rowling should concer…

SEEING as it’s the start of a new year it is probably time for a confession – I don’t like Harry Potter.

I tried to read the first one and was so befuddled by the writing style that I gave up after a associate of pages and promptly banned my children from reading it too.

I nevertheless have no idea why I did that but it felt good at the time as I believed I was taking a valiant stand against one of the most over-hyped series of books ever written.

Thankfully for the books author JK Rowling, my stance was very much in the minority and she has gone on to amass a fortune estimated at £750 million, while mine is about £750million less.

I cannot help but admire Rowling, though for what she has achieved after overcoming adversity. It is a proper success story and one that is far better than any one of the Harry Potter plots.

However, despite being one of the best-loved authors in history, Rowling has found herself at the centre of the increasingly bizarre trans argue with groups cancelling her with boring regularity.

The latest to cancel the author is the Boswells School in Chelmsford, Essex which has decided to rename a house due to her “comments and viewpoints surrounding trans people”.

It has now been named in honour of Olympic gold medal winner Dame Kelly Holmes.

Rowling has before voiced concerns about issues such as the impact of allowing trans women into women-only spaces, but denied accusations of transphobia.

She initially sparked controversy in June 2020 for tweets that took issue with the phrase “people who menstruate” and objected to the avoidance of the information “women”.

The author was also criticised by some for disputing the idea that male and female sexes do not exist.

Boswells head teacher Stephen Mansell said: “At The Boswells School we foster a vibrant, inclusive and democratic school community, where we encourage students to develop into independent, confident citizens. The house, which represents the ‘Self Discipline’ area of the Boswells Learning Bridge, is now named Holmes, after Dame Kelly Holmes.”

Two things can be taken from that statement. Firstly, what on earth is a Learning Bridge when it’s at home?.I don’t think already Hogwarts would be pretentious enough to have one of them.

But more seriously is the lie that the school ‘fosters’ an inclusive community. How can it when it cancels someone for having opposing views to some of the students and staff?

What sort of school just blanks someone instead of allow open and honest argue so pupils can gain valuable insight into differing points of view?

Schools are fast becoming hotbeds of intolerance instead of the beacons of knowledge they should be and that should worry us all.

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