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MIDLAND DAILY NEWS — AFA concerned about middle school witchcraft

March 11, 2005

by Angela E. Lackey, Midland Daily News

An article on witchcraft by a Central Middle School student has a local group concerned.

“Most people believe witches don’t exist, and I am here to prove them wrong,” wrote the eighth-grader, adding that her aunt is a Wiccan witch. The short article was printed in the winter issue of the Cavalier Chronicle.

“We think it’s inappropriate for a middle school student newspaper to encourage 11-year-olds to experiment with witchcraft,” said Gary Glenn of the Midland-based American Family Association of Michigan.

The student wrote she has “decided to experiment with this religion and see if this is the way for me.” She said other students also would like some of the things Wiccans do, including having weekly meetings to gossip and talk about the Wiccan way and casting spells and making potions.

Glenn said the AFA has several concerns with the article besides the promotion of witchcraft. He said there is a “potential legal liability” if students think the school is sanctioning witchcraft. The group also is concerned about recent events in Muskegon and Ohio. In Muskegon, a teacher has been accused of marrying a student in a Wiccan ceremony.

Glenn said he talked with Principal Paula Geller and asked if Christian, Jewish and Muslim students would be allowed to promote their faiths.

“We feel that we’ve handled it appropriately,” Geller told the Daily News. She would not say what action was taken.

Glenn said he would like the school’s newspaper to print an apology and a retraction, making it clear the school does not promote witchcraft.


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