Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince, the sixth installment of the popular cinematic and literary franchise is upon us and children, teens, and Cole Abaiuses everywhere are tinkling their pants in excitement. How wonderful it must be to exist in a world of magic, being taught by the greatest wizards of all time in how to be a powerful magician, mastering potions and crafts and just having fun with your friends. Yes, how wonderful that would be – if it were the case.
But it’s not. Not by a longshot. While children may wish with all their might to attend Hogwarts, a responsible parent must wish and do everything in their power to prevent it. Simply put, Hogwarts is the worst school ever. Unless you want your kid to end up misshapen, dead, or completely freaking evil, you’ll do wise to convince your son or daughter to stick with public schools.
7. Prideful Professors
Teachers are supposed to look out for their students and bestow upon them grace and knowledge. Teachers are not wardens or even psychologists, yet at Hogwarts they assume all of those roles. Albus Dumbledore is far and away the most prideful, despite his kind exterior and false rationalizations. It is Dumbledore who takes it upon himself to accept Tom Riddle into Hogwarts despite knowing the kid is troubled in the head and already using magic for evil. Further, new potions master Horace Slughorn similarly lets his pride get in the way as he helps guide Riddle into making himself virtually immortal. Don’t even get me started on Gilderoy Lockhart. Responsible teaching my backside.
6. Terrible Students
Many schools pride themselves on the caliber of student they allow it – but not Hogwarts. No, this school for wizards is seemingly content to accept bullies and bad guys and then either champion them as heroes or hire them on as professors. Harry’s father, as shown in the fifth film, takes great joy in bullying a young Severus Snape, bullying which most assuredly pushed Snape, perhaps the third or fourth most powerful living wizard, towards the Death Eaters. Yet James Potter is often reflected on very kindly – he’s the kind of Gryffindor you want around. Amongst the students are many arrogant kids who are assigned to Gryffindor and thus seen as somewhat heroic or brave and many dastardly evil bastards who are sent to Slytherin and seen as evil. Why are these jerks let in?
5. Irresponsible Mentors
No, I’m not done blasting away at the cast of characters within Hogwart’s walls. A school with pretty walls is nothing without great people within it. Yet even when it comes to the mentors, they’re horribly irresponsible. Virtually all among them choose to withhold a dark secret and some of them are even agents of the Dark Lord Voldemort himself. Professor Snape is openly hostile towards most of his students while Slughorn is unabashedly showing favoritism. Dumbledore again, the great hero, is the worst offender. Not only does he show favoritism to Potter and his fellows, he constantly sends them into the face of great danger, if not death. Sure, Potter is special, but do you want to pay all that tuition just to hear that a basilisk ate your child?
4. High Mortality Rate
Through this point in the story at least 4 students have been murdered and many, many more sent to the infirmary. Hell, Harry and Ron end up in the hospital after every adventure. Hermione got stunned that one time. Further, several adults associated with Hogwarts are also killed – and the body count is only going to rise in the next installment. Hogwarts must have the worst insurance premiums.
3. Dangerous Course Work
Who knows how many students have been maimed or killed just by doing their homework. Books come to life and attack people, potions are made on the first day of class capable of killing an entire schools worth of people, and cursed artifacts are gawked at. The risk of an advanced physics class is a slight burn, the risk of an introduction to spells course at Hogwarts is an eternity damned to the pits of hell.
2. Unsafe Grounds
Just walking through the hallway could result with you being turned to stone or perhaps consumed and digested by any number of giant snakes. Stopping to take a dump could be a death sentence when a giant troll bashes through the bathroom in a murderous stupor. Likewise, step into the wrong door might cause you to disappear for a million years. On school grounds a giant man-child (Hagrid) keeps admittedly dangerous animals like dragons as pets! If you get off of school grounds, kiss your ass goodbye as you’re now faced with angry centaurs, hungry spiders, and every variety of evil, man slaughtering mythical beast you can think of. Including trees. There’s a freaking tree that can kill people.
1. Evil Abounds
The most damning fact of Hogwarts as the worst school ever is a simple one that their institution was based on. The sorting hat assigns them to different schools. This isn’t like your 8th grade “Gold” and “Blue” teams that just dictated what period you had lunch and who was in your gym class. No, this hat sorts you by your personality. You’ve got Hufflepuff, which are the normal kids who like fair play, and there is Ravenclaw, the nerds who are all about brains. Then you get Gryffindor, the “brave” warriors who we’ve already seen have a penchant for bullying and Slytherin, the house that honors ambition and apparently PURE EVIL.
Now, its not explicitly stated anywhere in the books or movies, but considering just about every Death Eater and wizard gone bad has come from Slytherin, the house might deserve this reputation. What’s more is that, for most people, children follow their parents’ course. Potter followed his parents to Gryffindor while Draco Malfoy followed his father into Slytherin. Guess which one turns out to be an evil little monster? One would think that any responsible institution would notice the pattern – oh hey, we have this school that attracts mean spirited and selfish kids with a high propensity for turning evil and committing murder – I wonder how they’ll do on the quidditch field! NO. STOP.
This is like having a school divided by political beliefs and then teaching the Nazis how to commit genocide more effectively. You reap what you sow, Hogwarts, and you’re responsible for breeding and teaching an entire legion of kids who have something like a 98% greater likelihood of turning traitor and trying to murder, cheat, and steal to their heart’s content. Sure, a few good wizards have come out of Slytherin, they have the coolest mascot, and I was sorted there too because of my great personal ambition and black evil heart, but for the most part we all must agree – Slytherin is bordering on completely evil most of the time. Yet Hogwarts welcomes them and trains them in lethal magic. Worst. School. Ever.
If you’re under the assumption that spending your school year at Hogwarts would be great – think again. If your child asks for a Gryffindor costume for Halloween, nip that in the bud! Sending your 12-year old off to Hogwarts for class is like sending your 4-year old to Afghanistan to study agriculture – except far more dangerous. Hogwarts is, without a doubt, the worst school in cinematic history – if you value your life, that is. Because other than the intense risk of being betrayed, maimed, killed, or murdered, it does seem pretty sweet.