Sussex school drops plans to name house after Harry Potter author JK Rowling

A Sussex school has dropped plans to name one of its houses after Harry Potter author JK Rowling because she might ‘no longer be an appropriate role model.’

Friday, 12th June 2020, 11:06 am

The novelist - who has sold more than 500 million copies of her Potter fantasy series - has ended up in the bad books of The Weald School and Sixth Form in Billingshurst.

The school has written to parents saying the school was no longer going to name one of its houses after her because it ‘did not wish to be associated with’ the author’s views.

The new house will now instead be named Blackman after former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman.

JK Rowling (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images) SUS-201106-170220001

In the letter to parents, deputy headteacher Sarah Edwards explained that JK Rowling had originally been one of six new house names: Davinci, Seacole, Mercury, Attenborough, Rowling and Thompson.

“However,” she wrote, “in recent days it has come to light that one of our new names may in fact no longer be an appropriate role model for our community.

“JK Rowling has tweeted some messages which are considered to be offensive to the LGBT+ community (specifically, trans-phobic) and we feel that we do not wish to be associated with these views.

“The Weald is a school which always seeks to be inclusive of people across all of the protected characteristics, and we would not want to cause offence, even inadvertently.

The Weald School, Billingshurst SUS-201206-105844001

“We have therefore taken the decision to remove the name Rowling from our new house and it will be called Blackman instead. Malorie Blackman is a prolific author of children’s and young adult literature, writer of television and radio dramas, was the Children’s Laureate between 2013-2015 and uses her writing as a way of exploring social and ethical issues.

“We feel that she fits the bill as an excellent replacement for a modern-day female author, so that we retain our aim of having a combination of historical and modern significant figures.”

She added that the name change had been “a difficult decision but we are confident it is the right one.”

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