Laura Mallory Is A Big Government Conservative

She vows to continue her crusade against Harry Potter. 

The hearing Tuesday provided Mallory more time to make her case than any of the previous hearings she has attended to present her arguments against the Potter books. She argued her case herself, without a lawyer at her side.

Mallory restated many of her previous complaints about the Harry Potter series. She argued the books lure children into practicing witchcraft. Mallory said the school board’s decision to offer the books in taxpayer-funded libraries violates the U.S. Constitution because, she claims, they promote the Wiccan religion. Mallory also argued the books are too violent for children.

Mallory has acknowledged that she hasn’t read any of the Harry Potter books in their entirety, but Tuesday she recited excerpts of at least three of the books to illustrate her points.

Mallory, sometimes breaking into tears, read testimony from a teenager who said reading the books led her to contemplate suicide. Quoting a counselor who testified at a previous hearing, Mallory said the Potter movies and books led one boy into high-risk behaviors, such as dangerous motorcycle stunts and bungee jumping.

“I have a dream that God will be welcomed back into our schools,” Mallory said.

Maybe some of the Republican legislators who read this blog will take on your cause, Ms. Mallory. 

 

50 comments

  1. Jason Pye says:

    Maybe some of the Republican legislators who read this blog will take on your cause, Ms. Mallory.

    Please don’t give them any ideas.

  2. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Quoting a counselor who testified at a previous hearing, Mallory said the Potter movies and books led one boy into high-risk behaviors, such as dangerous motorcycle stunts and bungee jumping.

    Ban ’em. We cannot have kids getting tricked into bungee jumping (what part of the books did that, by the way?)

    Seriously, if you want something that scares the crap out of me, it’s bungee and BASE jumping. I’m a certified (and frequent) skydiver and SCUBA diver, but will not go NEAR a bungee cord or jump off of a bridge. That is some scary, scary stuff.

    *shudder*

  3. Demonbeck says:

    The prospect of reading Lord Jim ever again still makes me contemplate suicide.

    We should burn Fahrenheit 451 as well.

  4. Skeptical says:

    And I have a dream that this woman will one day begin taking her mediciation regularly and shut the f*#k up and go away!

    And again the definition of insanity is…

  5. Jeff Emanuel says:

    By the way, I’ve had my copy of book 7 reserved since about March 15. And yes, I was at the bookstore at midnight to pick up books 4, 5, and 6. And no, I don’t know why I’m admitting this in public….

  6. Demonbeck says:

    I do not like Green Eggs and Ham. I do not like them Superior Court Judge Ronnie Batchelor I am.

  7. Adam Smith says:

    I understand that she does not want that book in the school library because it contrasts with her morals. And I understand that the vast majority of reasonable people would argue against her.

    But taking a moment to reflect upon this, I do have to ask myself, what is the real question?

    The title suggests that she is for big government. Is that really true?

    She is not yet arguing for a government ban on the book. She is not arguing (yet) that the book should be illegal to own, read, or publish. She is simply arguing that the governement should not spend its tax dollars and a small part of the school board budget on a book which she feels is objectionable.

    Putting aside her personal religous beliefs, the so called “why” to her argument (which is inflamatory and causes people to automatically take the opposite side), we need to look to the “what” is the argument she presents.

    I would remind everyone that we already have public libraries in every city. The book is already in there. Do we really need to spend government resources (our tax dollars) to duplicate a book that is already available for those that want to borrow it from a library?

    To argue against her is actually to argue for government spending.

    I will admit that she is off her rocker. However, just because her reasoning is arrogant and flawed to many of us does not mean that the effect that she wants is a point of view to be ridiculed.

  8. griftdrift says:

    “Do we really need to spend government resources (our tax dollars) to duplicate a book that is already available for those that want to borrow it from a library?”

    If that book is responsible for encouraging more kids to learn to read than any book since the blue book speller?

    I’d say yes.

  9. Chris says:

    Laura Mallory Is A Big Government Conservative

    No, she’s a wacked-out crack pot who is getting more attention from the media then she is getting time in front of a judge.

    Ignore this freak of nature and she’ll eventually go away.

  10. Adam Smith says:

    griftdrift, I do not argue against the book. I do not argue about its popularity and how many children read better because of it. I have read all of the books myself as have my children.

    I am just simply stating that the government already buys and then makes available at no cost copies of the book in the local library. They usually have more than one copy of the book.

    Now, you state that you do not have a problem with increasing government spending, but I just hate to see the government spend more money to duplicate their already made purchases.

  11. griftdrift says:

    No. I have a big problem with increasing government spending. But this discussion is in the context of public schools where reading is essential.

    But if you want to pull them from the library where they are entertainment for adults to add them to the school where the value to children is greater so there is a zero gain in spending, so be it.

  12. RuralDem says:

    Adam Smith,

    Sorry, I think a book with such an positive impact on getting people interested in reading is worth of having more than one copy of said book in the library.

    I’d venture to say that not every library has one copy of each Harry Potter book.

    They should.

  13. Adam Smith says:

    the only problem that I would have with pulling the books from a public library and placing them in a school library is that many children would no longer have access to them. Homeschooled children, kids not in school, kids on summer vacation, Christmas break, etc. or even the children of illegal immigrants.

    I would suggest that the youth of the community are better served having access to a public library almost every day of the week and of the year instead of the very limited weekday only access to a school library.

  14. I Am Jacks Post says:

    Her last protest was over the availability of the Hardy Boys book, “The Secret of the Caves.” Mallory felt if that young and naive readers were supposed to know what the “Secret” was, then God would’ve told them.

  15. Adam Smith says:

    let me throw out this almost thread jack….

    (its not a complete thread jack, since the question really is where should government draw the line on book censorship in schools….)

    if you feel that Harry Potter has had such a positive influence on children, how do you feel about the Bible being in schools, even if under the fiction category?

    I would actually argue that government should not have a right to restrict reading materials, so long as they are age appropriate (ie, no porn, anarchist cookbook, or Clinton biographies).

    By the same token, I do not believe that the government should spend tax dollars on libraries in schools as long as public libraries are more readily available all year long (including weekends).

    I would submit that schools should have libraries of donated books only, and let the individual parents decide what their child should or should not read.

    People will do good and take care of the donations because of characteristics of human nature, specifically to help children and to encourage education and reading.

    In summary, people should donate the books at not cost to the government AND people should be free to decide what they will or will not read, including Harry Potter and the Bible. My tax dollars should not be spent on censorship OR on promoting fictional characters who have a line of action figures/clothing/toys/movies etc.

  16. Holly says:

    I’m with you, Jace!

    My copy’s on reserve at Barnes & Noble, and I’m re-reading the series again now.

    For what it’s worth, my grandfather was an old school, Southern Baptist preacher who had read the first two books at the time of his death. He loved Harry Potter and had planned to start reading the third book. He recognized it for what it was: a wonderful, imaginative story.

    Just thought since we’re discussing the evils of the series (according to Laura Mallory, who has not read the books, anyway) that I should bring up one minister’s perspective.

  17. griftdrift says:

    I have no problem with The Bible being in a school library.

    Adam, the only problem with your solution is in school reading is an essential part of the day and the only competition children have in obtaining a book is other children. In a public library, they also have to compete with adults for the limited to resource.

  18. Decaturguy says:

    Big government is not just about spending money. Adam Smith, your argument would hold water if you were arguing against public funding of education, or public funding of libraries, altogether. But I don’t think that is what you are doing, are you?

    By advocating the banning of a book in a public school library you disagree with, you are advocating for big government.

  19. Adam Smith says:

    Decaturguy,

    I will try to explain this if you did not understand my earlier posts.

    I agree with the effort to keep out a book that is already available to the publice, purchased with government money. I believe that if a child goes to the school library to check out a book, and it is not on the shelf, they can be told…go to the big public library and check it out there.

    I do not agree that the reason to keep Harry Potter out is because it is objectionable material. That is not a good reason for me.

    I can agree with an effect without agreeing with the reasons for the effect. For example, if you do not kill someone because you cannot find a weapon, and I do not kill someone because it is the right thing to do, I do not have to agree with your reason for not killing to agree with your result of not killing (and I am not suggesting you would do something like that, no offense is meant, just using an example)

    So, in effect, I repeat…People should donate the books to the schools which would be at not cost to the government AND people should be free to decide what they will or will not read, including Harry Potter and the Bible. My tax dollars should not be spent on censorship OR on books which are already in a public library.

  20. buzzbrockway says:

    By advocating the banning of a book in a public school library you disagree with, you are advocating for big government.<

    But not all books published are allowed to reside in a public school library for a variety of reasons.

    What Mallory is really arguing for is that Harry Potter should be among the books not allowed in the school library. Her reason is mainly religious and thus has been rejected, but the “government” keeps books out of school libraries all the time.

  21. Skeptical says:

    Adam Smith,

    What about poor children who by riding the bus to school has access to the book in the school library but has no other means of transportation to a public library and thereby has no access to the book?

    Is that child just supposed to do without simply because of factors beyond his/her control (in this case being his/her parents lack of transportation)?

  22. Nicki says:

    Adam, I heartily disagree with you. Libraries are a fundamental resource to education, and more specifically the school library is essential to education. For starters, school libraries serve the essential role of providing materials from which their teachers teach — whereas the public library can do so, but in a far less targeted way.

    Yes, some children can go to a public library to obtain books. The children, however, who most badly need to be educated are unlikely to have a parent who is willing to either buy them a copy of a book or take them to a library to get it. And then, of course, the library has a certain amount of demand — for the new Harry Potter bo0k it will be high. So the chances of the general population of school children being able to read Harry Potter at the public library aren’t very high. And the importance of leisure reading shouldn’t be underestimated, either — it’s how most people become proficient writers, readers, and speakers of language.

    I attended one of the world’s poorest middle schools, with a terrible library, and one that had been heavily censored. Wuthering Heights, for example, was unreadable because every objectionable phrase or concept had been blacked out sometime in the distant past. Was there a correlation between the quality of the library and the quality of the education? Heck, yes.

    And what’s this about the bible? Every school I attended has some in their library.

    And as for the “my tax dollars” argument, there are an infinite number of things I would prefer my dollars not be spent on. But the essential education of our populace is generally not among them.

  23. Demonbeck says:

    It is hard for me to believe that no one has pointed out that Mrs. Mallory’s crusade has cost the state far more in legal fees than the cost of all seven books in every single school and public library in the state.

  24. Adam Smith says:

    Skep,

    I have no problem with the book being in school library. I just do not see the role of government to ensure that EVERY school library have the same books that are available in a public library.
    I would simply say, given the support that the book has, that surely one person who loves the book would DONATE it to the school library. Hence..”My tax dollars should not be spent on censorship OR on books which are already in a public library.”

    And to answer anyone’s concerns about what if noone donated the book, well, if noone donates the book then it means that noone thinks that the book is worth being donated and it likely should not be in a library then. This is known as a free market approach. The right things will happen if people are given a chance to do so.

  25. Adam Smith says:

    Nicki,

    you are not really suggesting that the Harry Potter series is essential to education, are you? Or are you simply trying to persuade by saying that you are for education and that those that disagree with you are against the children? Your statement is not a logical one and is flawed.

    Think about that, essential? Basic or indispensable; necessary (from American Heritage Dictionary).

    A fiction book in the school library is not, by definition essential to education. Math, science, history, english, are essential.

    If it was necessary, it would be taught in the classroom. Even required reading time does not make it necessary to read Harry Potter. Other fictional options are available.

    Simply put, Harry Potter is an opportunity to broaden one’s horizons, not a necessity, and certainly not essential.

    I would say to you Nicki, if you feel so strongly about it, why don’t you buy an extra copy and donate it to the school library of your elementary school. That way you can smile about doing a good deed, and I can know that I did not pay taxes for your deed. We both win, but as much as the children who can read the book you donated.

    As for your disbelief about the Bible not being in all schools. Sorry, nope, my public school experience never had a bible in the library. My children’s schools do not have a bible in their library. I am glad that your dilapidated library had several copies. Hopefully they were well read.

    I repeat, I am for Harry Potter being in a school library. I am for any book being there, I just simply believe that it just should not be paid for by the government when the government has already paid for it to be in a public library.

  26. RuralDem says:

    Did anyone see her on Fox News earlier? She was on the Live Desk with Martha MacCullum.

    The woman is downright crazy. I won’t quote word for word (because I probably would get it wrong) but there was one part where she claimed children were going to turn into witches or something asinine like that.

  27. RuralDem says:

    Not literally turning into witches, but becoming wiccans or whatever.

    Really bizarre stuff. She then starts talking about parts that take place in the different books when she hasn’t even read them.

    The “A-List” panelists of the day were all trying to figure out what in the world was wrong with Harry Potter.

  28. Nicki says:

    Actually she’s a throwback. Her views would have been pretty mainstream for the wackier portion of the religious right in roughly 1985. I recall all those silly warnings about Hotel California and Smurfs and whatnot. It was silly then, too, but a lot more people were championing it.

    Adam Smith, it’s not necessary to education, but it is certainly helpful and salutary to education. Heck, the book excites children about reading, which is one of the aims of our educational system, yes? It’s evident that if it is acquired it will be used and it will educate children and therefore I consider it an investment well made.

    Furthermore, I find the market approach to be a good idea when you have a service which is inherently capitalistic. But anything that is essential, and must be provided to people who may not necessarily be able to pay for the goods they consume is not one. So…education, water, etc. Imagine a school in which textbooks were left up to the market — it’s a completely ludicrous idea. In fact, I would argue my old school was provided by the private market. The private market didn’t think we kiddies needed to read uncensored literature, but I would disagree. And furthermore, I suspect my instructors would disagree.

    Finally, schools choose every year which books they purchase based on demand, academic value, and other factors. So this is not about Harry Potter at all — it’s about the ability of the public schools to provide appropriate educational materials as they see fit to every student. Personally I think they should countersue Mrs. Mallory for wasting taxpayer dollars that could be educating children.

  29. Overincorporated Fulton says:

    The “I don’t want my tax dollars supporting this so people should just donate it” argument is absurd. I don’t want my tax dollars funding the Iraq war. Can’t the war lovers just have a bake sale?

    Please. And as for the public library already having copies of the book, why not just eliminate school libraries altogether? All they do is DUPLICATE the services of the public library. Oh wait, I forgot, most parents are too busy watching Dancing with the Stars to take their kids to the public library.

    What “Mrs. Mallory” is doing is just as bad if not worse than what trial lawyers do: waste our time and money with their ideological excesses and need for attention.

  30. Bill Simon says:

    The first Harry Potter book was published in 1997. That means it has been out 10 years.

    So, according to Laura Mallory’s theory, we should have lots of 20-24 year-old witches walking about in Gwinnett County as a result of reading the books, right?

    Now, I know there may be some [b]itches walking around Gwinnett County, but how many actual [w]itches are there?

  31. Darth Mike says:

    Nicki, they do not need to counter sue. A 5 minute form letter letting her know her claims are abusive litigation sets her up for a motion to claim attorney’s fees. Of course, the government never takes the time to mail one of those, thank God for us defense attorneys. 🙂

  32. Adam Smith says:

    Overincorp Fulton, good analogy. Gotta love someone who can stretch a conversation about school libraries into a line about Iraq. You must have done really well in logic in your 6th grade class.

    The role of government is to protect the citizens nationally and internationally; To do those roles that private citizens cannot or where private enterprise will fail. IE, the infrastructure, national security, fire services, education. The war in Iraq is a war for national security. That fits in the role. Duplicating free books for the citizens is a stretch in my opinion.

    But nice try to link Harry Potter to the war in Iraq. Very impressive thinking. Next you will try to link Harry Potter with abortion or religion to try to make a point.

  33. SpaceyG says:

    Lawyers out there, answer me this… can I bring a civil lawsuit against Laura Mallory for continuing to take up space and annoy the holy sh*t out of me with the incessant bleating of her obviously deranged and emotionally unstable presence in the very media with which I need to utilize on a daily basis in which to earn a decent living for my family?

  34. Overincorporated Fulton says:

    Hmmm…just because you don’t like an analogy doesn’t make it any less valid, Adam. The war is different because it FEELS different to you, not because it IS different.

    A $15 book being in the school library (where students can go without having to rely on their deadbeat parents) and in the public library (where I have seen nary a ten-year-old dismount his/her bicycle in search of the latest Potter) is not a big deal.

    The difference in the analogy is scale, but it doesn’t really matter in this case because in your perfect world, no one would pay taxes for things they don’t want. Make it whatever you want…Iraq, our state’s crucial GO FISH program, or the fact that Sandy Springs council members spend time (and thus, money) wondering if Roswell Road should become a monument to Eva Galambos. I just think it’s silly to feel like your rights have been violated when government does something with revenue that you don’t like and that’s it.

    And by the way, I wasn’t linking Harry Potter the fledgling wizard to Iraq. I was linking delusional religious nuts like good ol’ Mrs. Mallory to Iraq, which is a lot less of a stretch than you think.

  35. Jason Pye says:

    I know a book that Mrs. Mallory reads that contains stories about adultery, witchcraft, murder, demons, devil worship, prostitution and so much more.

  36. rugby_fan says:

    Adam Smith;

    If we are to implement your beliefs, imagine that a school library doesn’t have an encyclopedia, or dictionary.

    Would you even be able to call that school a “school”?

    I would say not.

  37. Adam Smith says:

    rugby fan,

    yes, I would call a school without an encyclopedia or dictionary a school. Both of those could be made available via an online system. However, I would also say that those are classroom materials and should be included in the budget.

    Or again, if people are concerned over whether a school would have a non-mandatory book (encyclopedias and dictionary are, IMO, mandatory, a fiction book, whether Mark Twain or JK Rowling is not mandatory for education), then you could donate it. Schools could actually have book drives where they ask people to drop off books. I don’t know about you, but I would be willing to let the school have all of my books that I no longer read. And, I would submit, this would actually lead to the school having an excess of books.

  38. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Ahem. The Iliad, the Odyssey, the Aeneid, Ernest Hemingway, Alexandre Dumas, Mark Twain, Ayn Rand, Upton Sinclair, etc., etc. — not a part of education?

    Please define — exactly — what does constitute education.

  39. Doug Deal says:

    I think he meant that it is “required” not “mandatory”. I.e. a dictionary, is pretty much required to teach children the meanings and spellings of words.

    A particular story by Mark Twain, on the other hand, can be left out of the education system, and the child can still learn about literature.

    This is not an unreasonable point, however, I do not think that goes much to the point of giving Mallory a leg to stand on. She wanted the Potter books out, and she lost in the one venue that was apporpriate (the school board). Now she is abusing the system, and needs to fade away.

  40. Jeff Emanuel says:

    As for your disbelief about the Bible not being in all schools. Sorry, nope, my public school experience never had a bible in the library. My children’s schools do not have a bible in their library.

    Ditto. Not one of the several public schools I went to had a Bible in the library.

  41. Chris says:

    Interesting. I grew up in the liberal God-hating New York Public School system and we had copies of the bible in our school library. We also had the Quran, Book for Mormon, Dianetics, etc.

  42. Adam Smith says:

    Jeff Emanuel,

    The Iliad, the Odyssey, the Aeneid, Ernest Hemingway, Alexandre Dumas, Mark Twain, Ayn Rand, Upton Sinclair are all part of a complete education.

    However, I would suggest that those are not MANDATORY for k-5 grade, Those are way above their reading level.

    As for grades 6-8, some of what you suggest starts to become appropriate reading levels. (Note, I say appropriate reading LEVEL, not appropriate reading MATERIAL; the individual should choose the appropriate reading material)

    Books like those really do a great job with expanding the mind, but are not 100% NECESSARY for an education before high school.

    Once in high school, then it should become a mandatory part of education, and should be included with the assigned school books, as it was when I was in high school.

  43. Jeff Emanuel says:

    I’ll buy that, although I think that I gained a great deal of education from the various and sundry fiction books which were made available to me in my primary school days via the library.

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