Eyebrows raised over ‘Golden Compass’ curriculum

From Peter Chagnon and One News Now.

“A well-known publishing company is encouraging teachers to promote the controversial movie The Golden Compass in the classroom through specially designed curriculum — which has raised concern with some public school teachers.

Scholastic, Inc., has launched its “Golden Compass Student Sweepstakes” in anticipation of the December 7 movie release. Among the sweepstakes prizes are box sets of “His Dark Materials” by Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass — the first book in the trilogy. The publishing company is also launching a line of curriculum for students grade 8-12, based on the “His Dark Materials” book series. According to Pullman, he authored the series out of disdain for the popular allegory “The Lord of the Rings.” (See earlier article)

Tammy Soule is a public school teacher in Oklahoma. She shares that after researching the movie and books, she is concerned about the “anti-God” message being promoted in the series. She admits she is upset over Scholastic’s decision.

“I found a website where the author had all of his favorite quotes … and there were some very disturbing quotes on there,” says Soule. “I can’t remember any of them word for word, but it was very anti-God — anti-American, too. It was just very sad what I read on there; it really concerned me.”

Soule says that she plans to educate parents on Pullman’s atheistic agenda. “[M]y biggest advice is to research it,” she offers. “Don’t just listen to what people are telling you, get online and start looking up some information about the author and his reason for writing the books. And yes, they say that the movie is more watered down than the book, but the movie excites the children towards the books.”

Soule says she has no plans to teach the Scholastic curriculum — but she does plan to write to the publisher, informing them that as a frequent customer she is disappointed they are choosing to promote the controversial movie and book series.”

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