Accuracy in Media

The normally liberally minded Montgomery Count, MD school system has upset some of its teachers and parents by issuing a ban on PG-13 rated movies from middle schools and R rated movies from high schools. The teachers have accused administrators of censorship (there’s that word again) but according to school system spokesman Brian K. Edwards “The leadership team did not feel that it was necessary to show R-rated movies as part of the instructional program.” There was no list of specific movies just a guideline that movies with these ratings aren’t appropriate. If the teachers have been paying any attention they would have noticed that PG-13 movies are often a soft R with some bad language and nudity and R movies for the most part have evolved into profanity laced violent movies replete with nudity. This isn’t the case with all movies but with a wide majority and not appropriate for a classroom setting.

I for one am glad to hear of this decision. My children for years have been exposed to these movies particularly at the end of the school year where that is all they do for two weeks is watch movies. Since my children have elected not to watch movies with ratings higher than PG-13 and even then they have choices to make they usually ask to leave the class until the movie is over.

One parent lamented the loss of Romeo & Juliet featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes in the middle schools where Shakespeare is taught. I guess he thinks two young attractive Hollywood stars enmeshed in some steamy scenes will really help students relate better to this classic work. Since most Hollywood movies take extreme liberties when converting books to film I don’t see how this is a big loss for the students.

Up to this point most parents probably weren’t even aware of what types of movies were being shown their children. We always have to give our permission for field trips and sex ed courses but I have yet to see a permission slip for movies.

Sorry students, looks like you will actually have to read some books and do some class work now. Sorry to the teachers who will actually have to teach a lesson rather than leaving education to the likes of DiCaprio and company.

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