Golden Compass Movie Hits Theaters and Creates Controversy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/7/07

Golden Compass Movie Hits Theaters and Creates Controversy

Some of Lubbock's big screens are at the center of a heated debate.

The Golden Compass premiered Friday afternoon in the Hub City, with many folks lining up to see the movie. This comes on the same day as Shallowater ISD begins the review process over the book The Golden Compass, and its place on library shelves.

Should The Golden Compass book be available to students at Shallowater Intermediate School? Some say no.

Principal Jack Noles said, "There is a single party that has raised an objection to that book being in our library."

Noles said a formal complaint was filed Monday. This comes after a teacher read the book to a third grade class. NewsChannel 11 tried contact those who complained about the book, over the phone and in person, but were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile Noles says parents were notified the book would be read in class.

"It's very common practice for upper level novels to be read to younger grades for the purpose of enriching vocabulary," Noles added.

On the same day a committee started to review whether the book should stay on the school's library selves, many lined up at Lubbock movie theaters.

"I've seen the previews and I think it's going to be a good movie, just like Harry Potter," Alvina Reyna said.

The movie is filled with armored bears and flying witches, and is set in an alternative universe. Aimed at families, some Lubbock church leaders say there is something hidden.

Pastor Tim Radkey, with Hope Lutheran Church & School says "I think it seems to be promoting atheism kind of in the end. I think it's trying to give the appearance of being a series like Harry Potter."

Either way, moviegoer Ty McDonald said it comes down to a good story.

"You can take a story and have entertainment aside from the whole antireligious aspects of it," McDonald added.

The movie is rated PG-13. However, critics say it is best for parents to first see the movie before taking the kids.

Meanwhile, Principal Noles tells NewsChannel 11 the review committee should make a decision about the book in the next few weeks. If the books meet state educational standards, it will stay in the library. However, the committee's decision can be appealed.

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