Why I Don’t Feel Safe Sending My Children to Hogwarts
Hogwarts: a revered institution of education, magic, and family. It’s hard not to feel warm and fuzzy inside when we think about the place we always wanted to call home. Thanks to Dumbledore, we know it’s real, even though it’s all inside our heads. I think if you were to poll any one of the hundreds of thousands of fans whether they would be willing to abandon their mundane lives, pack up their trunks, and move into Hogwarts Castle, they’d be gone before you could say “Quidditch.” (Anyone who says otherwise is a liar and should not be trusted.)
Obviously, I would be among the herd scrambling onto the train, ready to embark on the momentous journey to the one true place we really wanted to call home (sorry, Mom). I’m 99.9% sure there would be a Melissa-shaped cloud hanging in the air in front of my kitchen sink, or stove, while an unattended dinner burns to a crisp. (Just kidding. About the cooking, not the cloud. Everyone knows I don’t cook at home. Just ask my husband.) No, the mad dash to Hogwarts would very much happen. However, even with the near-combusting joy I would feel at the idea, there is still one nagging problem.
You see, I’m a worry-wart to the very core. And I don’t just mean in the I-think-I-left-the-stove-on, look-both-ways-twice-before-crossing-the-road type of worry. I mean a worry so all-encompassing that, one time, I literally used ropes to tie each of my four children to my jeans while visiting a fair. It helped to ease some of my paranoia and anxiety, but let’s just say my 16-year-old was less than thrilled. The point is, while I would gladly jump into the obvious dangers of Hogwarts Castle with uninhibited enthusiasm, as a parent I would hesitate to let my own children do that very same thing. Hypocrisy, thy name is Melissa.
Here are just a few reasons why I would never feel safe letting my children attend Hogwarts.
- Everything in the Forbidden Forest wants to KILL YOU!
From the start, students are told the Forest is off-limits. This is very quickly contradicted by its use for punishment. Yes, the Forbidden Forest is a dangerous, terrible place that no wet-behind-the-ears child wizard should ever dare enter, but whoops, you were out of bed past curfew. Let’s forget everything we just said and throw the transgressors into the woods — at night! — to hunt down something that is killing unicorns. Oh, and if that isn’t enough for you, once your children are in the danger zone, Hagrid will split them up, leaving the ones he doesn’t personally care for to their own devices.
2. The feasts – have they ever heard of cholesterol???
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy my children would never go hungry while at school. I mean, I’m sure they’ll miss the four straight nights of spaghetti that has become a tradition at our house, but they’ll push through the disappointment like the good little soldiers they are. However, I can’t help but worry about the overload of fat, carbs, and cholesterol packed in all those savory, creamy, delightful dishes. I guess it’s true that wizards aren’t afflicted by the typical Muggle maladies, such as high blood pressure and diabetes (they seem to have a potion for everything), but what of those poor Muggle-borns? Not my kids, of course, since they already have an awesome witch for a mother, but what about the others?
3. I, personally, question Hagrid’s sanity when it comes to his pets.
Giant spiders? Three-headed dogs? Dragons???? And they think pit bulls are unpredictable! At the very least, Hagrid should be required to send his pets to obedience training. I’d like my entire child to return home for the holidays, not just the walky-talky bits!
4. A general questioning of the sanity of any and all staff, actually.
In fact, I can’t help but question the credentials of 90% of the staff hired to teach our youngsters. I mean, sure, Lupin didn’t exactly gnaw on his students while under the influence of the full moon, but it’s not just those creature-types that I am worried about. A narcissistic — and positively inept — wizard teaching my kids how to defend themselves? What about Quirrell? UMBRIDGE?! Now, I’m not one to discriminate against people with… conditions… but with the disturbing trend over the years, maybe it wouldn’t be too much to ask that every DADA applicant be submitted for a full psychiatric evaluation.
5. Blood sports are back en vogue.
Okay, okay… so I get that football and baseball aren’t exactly thrilling sports for wizards, but your answer is to put children into certain death situations for the entertainment of others? I had to sign a permission slip for my kids to visit a quaint little village but did not receive even one owl about you wanting to throw my child at angry dragons or drown them in the black lake? And don’t give me all that stuff about safety measures put in place. Where were the safety measures when You-Know-Who kidnapped two students from right under your noses?
6. Girls allowed in boy dorms???
I appreciate the measures put in place to keep little boys from storming the girls’ dormitories. As a mother of two beautiful little girls, I am 100% on board. However, also being a mother of a handsome, angelic, perfect little boy, I was underwhelmed by the lack of precautions taken for the boys’ dorms. My darling boy is open to all sorts of shenanigans imagined by sneaky little girls. Boys are not the only risk here, people! Potions class has been known to have lessons on Amortentia, if I am not mistaken. Romilda Vane, anyone? Lavender Brown? Girls are crazy! (Except my daughters, obviously.)
7. PTSD, anyone?
Now, I understand that not everything can be prevented. Sometimes, the kids will wander into the wrong corridors, Peeves might take a prank a bit too far, and yes, even I can accept that there will always be some Dark Lord-wannabe waiting to make their first grab at wizarding-world domination. With that in mind, what can you offer my traumatized children after the dust settles? Sure, Madam Pomfrey can regrow bones from nothing, but can she ease the mind of a child seeing a fully grown mountain troll decimate their home away from home? I noticed there is not even so much as a guidance counselor or therapist on-site. After everything that happened during the Second Wizarding War, surely the Department of Magical Education can find room in the budget for a mental health professional?
Would you be willing to overlook these details and send your precious child to Hogwarts? Do you have any more concerns to bring to light? Do you know the number of a good therapist? Let us know in the comments below!