I once tried to write a column about movies for my former employer, but he censored it (yes, censorship is alive and well in America. He was a self-proclaimed yellow-dog Democrat and he did not like ideas opposite of his into the paper–not unless they were worded the way he wanted them). Brittany is reaching that age where we’re allowing her to see more movies, but are still very careful about what she sees. It can be difficult on her as some of her friends (remember, these are 13-15 year olds) regularly watch R-rated movies.
Schools show far too many movies. Most of the time, it is just plain against the law–yes, it’s illegal. But more on that in a minute. Schools have a tendancy to show a movie to babysit the class at times. I’m not going to suggest the teachers aren’t doing anything, because I know first hand they very well need time to plan the class, grade papers, etc. Even still, movies should be the last thing they go to–instead, it seems to be the first.
I have a cousin who tells the story of watching The Lion King repeatedly in class. Now, before you yell too loudly, I love The Lion King. Both of my kids have seen it mulitple times–as have I. But my cousin was either in the 11th or 12th grade when this happened! I guess the teacher was better off to err on the side of younger age appropriateness than older.
That’s the other problem I have with the showing of so many movies. Because of the sheer volume they show these days, and because of my generally being more conservative about what my kids watch, we constantly have to be on guard with the teachers and schools. Teachers are choosing movies that are not appropriate for the classrooms. They are choosing movies–such as Shrek–which we will not let our children watch. It is rated PG (not PG-13), and then uses language in the movie that teachers will not let their students use. Excuse me! What kind of message is that?
Not to mention, it’s illegal.
Yep. Illegal. Furthermore, many of the administrators know it but refuse to do anything about it. Since we’re fresh off the Super-bowl, you’ll no doubt have heard the commotion about the NFL getting at churches for showing it on the big screen. Yes, a program available to all who own television hookup cannot be shown on a big screen like that.
Same for schools. Doesn’t matter that you actually “own” the DVD. When you purchase a DVD, you purchase the right to privately view it in your home (this is usually on the annoying blue screen that we all fast-forward through), not to show it in a large group setting. Schools DO have the right to show films that are educational, or to use them as part of a learning tool (like showing Hamlet in an English class studying Shakespeare). I’m sorry, but Shrek just doesn’t fit either of those categories. Instead, like many other movies, it’s used to occupy the students. I say remove the tv and make them read.
Let me add here that so far every school the kids have attended have allowed them to go to the library when they show a movie that isn’t on our “approved” list. Yeah, some of them have looked at us kinda funny or weird, but they’ve–thus far–all allowed my kids to do something else. I’d much rather have mine in the library than in front of a tv.
But that’s just my opinion.