If your school-aged kid is a Harry Potter fan, chances are he or she has pretended—somewhat seriously—to cast one of the book's wizardly spells. What kid wouldn't want to expelliarmus a ball out of someone's hand or reparo a broken bowl she accidentally knocked over? I've heard my daughter and her friends threaten each other with all sorts of make-believe spells inspired by books, movies, and TV. In fact, she and one friend are in the midst of recording a multipart movie called "The Demon" in which all sorts of evil things happen to each other. Of course, the movie and the spell-castings are all in good fun, or just how they express their feelings without actually doing any harm to anyone.
Unfortunately, fourth-grader Aiden Steward recently got suspended for just that sort of magical—and ultimately empty—threat. The nine year old told another kid at his Kermit, Texas, elementary school he would make him vanish with his toy "one ring" modeled after the magical ring in The Lord of the Rings. The principal apparently decided this was equal to a threat to the child's safety and that it would not be tolerated.
Aiden and his family had recently gone to see The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, which had given Aiden the idea. "Kids act out movies that they see. When I watched Superman as a kid, I went outside and tried to fly," Aiden's dad said. "I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend's existence. If he did, I'm sure he'd bring him right back."
While I'm all for making sure kids stay safe at school and aren't bullied, I have to agree with Aiden's dad here. It seems like the principal overreacted a bit. Next time she should have a convo with Headmaster Dumbledore and Headmistress McGonagall before making any rulings on magic, don't you think?
Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who would really like to master Wingardium Leviosa so she could vaccuum under furniture easier. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest to see more of her articles about kids and parenting, home design and DIY projects, and food trends and menu ideas.
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