Movies and schools

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.



Filed under General

5 responses to “Movies and schools

  1. Pingback: TV Movies Soaps » Movies and schools

  2. Pingback: Movies » Movies and schools

  3. Anita E. Allman

    You, as usual, are right on target. Roland, you are my friend, my brother in Christ and I love you and your family and respect what you are doing as a parent about your legal censorship of what you allow your critters to watch.

    As a former teacher, I watched for years, prior to my retirement, things go horribly worse in our schools in some areas. I was told by a superintendent once, that I could tell a child to go to Hell, but not to go to church. This from a superintendent who had a doctorate’s in divinity, but who was the worst masoginist that I had ever met. He fought me on every side as I tried for 10 years in a row to bring beauty and culture into our schools through musicals with full pit orchestras.
    Our productions cost up to $5,000, and we never got a penny of help through our school and in fact were only able to use the gym exclusively a week before productions, though this was in the spring and no sports were involved in the gym and there were 2 other gyms available for pe.

    Why am I telling you this? Because the cnsorship that you mentioned by your former employee, I understood well. Been there, had that done to me, too. I applauded your attempts to serve God and Country in our small paper. I had enough Journalism hours to teach that and also had radio and tv announcing on my minor. My Journalism teacher was Tex Plunkett ,a fantastic teacher, who made us admire and respect the journalist’s rights and obligations. His roomy in college wrote “Old Yellar”.

    I taught English, Speech, Drama, biology, PE, coached girl’s basketball and volley ball in my teaching career. Then went back and got my Master’s in gifted education and ran the program in Piggott as administrator and teacher of that program for 10 more years. In that program, I went to every classroom of all students pre school through 6th grade and did things like sign language, problem solving, affective lessons, and even some German.
    I loved it and the kids loved it.
    Diabetes and migraines stopped my teaching after 28 years, but I now have worked with hundreds of kids in the last 6 years; volunteering at our local hospital. ( I am pres. of Hosp. Aux, and formed a Jr. Aux) We have had 600 young people,grades 7-12 help during this 6 years. Kids and Patients love it, as do I.

    It was hard for you to soar like the Biblical Eagle, when you worked under such a turkey. but you did well.

    Keep on keeping on fellar, again, I love and respect you and yours.
    Anita E. Allman

  4. Hey Dad♥! Our game has been cancelled, I have already called and told Mom. I know about the movie thing, but I am just so anxious to watch other pg-13 movies. Love you. See ya later
    Brittany Mann♥(Mo)

  5. Hey Dad♥ again. Never mind about picking me up. We have practice until 6:30. Uggghhhhh. So don’t pick me up when you pick up Brett.
    Love ya,
    Brittany Mann♥(Mo)

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