Harry Potter School Party Opposed for Encouraging Wicca

April 15, 2004

Source: The Dallas Morning News


On April 15, 2004 The Dallas Morning News reported, "A Harry Potter party will go on next month at a Plano elementary school, despite one parent's attempt to have the courts block the event on constitutional grounds. A federal judge in Sherman on Wednesday decided that a student party starring the popular book character should not be halted. James O'Connor, a parent of two children in the Plano schools, filed a lawsuit Monday arguing that the district is encouraging "Wicca, an explicitly pagan, earth-centered religion." 'Incrementally, we've been removing a lot of Judeo-Christian models in our culture, and I am concerned that incrementally they may be replaced by non-Christian models,'Mr. O'Connor said. Mr. O'Connor, who is representing himself, asked the judge to cancel the party or require that all other religions be given equal time at the event. The suit surprised those familiar with the party's intent. 'It's about reading, not a religion,' said Donna Winemiller, PTA president at Haggar Elementary School.'This just kind of really came out of left field. ... We really couldn't quite believe it. We don't teach anything else. Why would we all of a sudden promote Wicca?'"