On November 3, 2023, Alabama media outlet 1819 News reported that an English teacher at Hoover High School in Alabama provided students with a “reading assignment arguing that magic is marginalized because of patriarchy and xenophobia.” The article linked to a post on X from James Lindsay with images of the assignment. The name of the assignment that this teacher gave to students was “How to Do Magic and Other Questions You Might Have About Being a Witch.”
This assignment calls witchcraft “a way of life” and explains that witches “are a symbol of power” that provide “liberation from the restraints of society.” This assignment then compliments witchcraft because the “patriarchy frowns upon it.” The assignment states:
Beyond the obvious fear of the unknown making magic marginalized, magic is extra badass because the patriarchy frowns upon it. This is perhaps due to xenophobia, religious concern, and weariness of people who challenge society’s core beliefs.
The assignment then adds:
Witches join together to fight against the patriarchy, to implement rights for the LGBTQ community, and for feminist beliefs. The fear of witches is hedged in the patriarchal society’s fear of giving political, mystical, healing, and sexual power to those do not fit in the cisgender male status quo.
A concerned community member reached out to Parents Defending Education and explained that students in the English class had to read the assignment and then write a response to it.
PDE found the teacher’s website where he explained that his “teaching philosophy” was heavily inspired by “reading a lot of X-Men comics.”