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Home : 2004 : Aug : 27

    I hear ya
    By Carolyn

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    My own experience with showing a movie:

    Okay, I wanted to show my students a Civil War movie for SS. Of course, any movie that has violence in it, such as a movie about war, is one for which you would want permission from parents. I sent home permission forms to parents. I also told them that I would cut any bad language from the movie, but I couldn't guarantee that there would be no bloodshed. The movie was depicted with historical accuracy and had A-list actors in it. I cut certain scenes which I also thought might be inappropriate for young viewers. All parents sent back the form saying "yes." No problem. Hey, the kiddos have seen movies like "Alien" and "Scream," so why would their parent object? Some of the kids said that they had even seen the movie already--uncut and uncensored.

    I got one parent form back that said, "Well, if it's not too violent, my daughter may watch it." I told her that she would have to sit in the classroom next door while I showed the movie, because I wasn't sure what "too violent" would be in the parent's or child's mind. The child decided to stay for the movie. She insisted upon it.

    Next day I get this screaming letter from the girl's mother. Her daughter should NOT have watched the movie. Her "little girl" (in fifth grade) was just so HORRIFIED by the movie. It made her sick, blah, blah, blah. I calmly wrote back to the parent and said that the child was not FORCED to stay in the classroom. Indeed, she was asked to sit in the next classroom, and I had asked her several times if she needed to leave the room.

    If your principal is on you about the movie, it may just be that some parent got on him about what you showed. What seems harmless to some is a really BIG DEAL to others.

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