Colo. school district bans 'R' movies
The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 08/10/2007 10:04:08 AM MDT

FALCON - The Falcon School District near Colorado Springs has banned all R-rated movies from high school classrooms, prompting complaints that it bars teachers from showing films like "Saving Private Ryan" and "Schindler's List" that can make history more meaningful.

The new policy allows students to see excerpts of R-rated films in class, if their parents agree. It also requires parental permission for students to see PG-13 movies in class.

The school board approved the new policy 5-0 on Thursday. Board members said some parents objected to the previous policy, which had allowed students to be excused from classroom showings of films that their parents found objectionable.

Board member Anna Bartha said at least one parent complained that children who were excused from such films were harassed by classmates.

Mary Louge and Elaine Olsen, co-presidents of the district's teachers union, questioned the decision.

"I don't understand their need for extreme censor(ship)," Louge said.

Olsen said that in her 20 years of teaching, only two parents have refused to allow their children to view movies she showed.

"I think they think we're in there showing skin flicks," Olsen said before the vote.

The Motion Picture Association of America assigns R ratings to movies with "adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements."

PG-13 rating is meant to alert parents that they should determine whether a film is suitable for children under age 13.

"Saving Private Ryan" and "Schindler's List," both set in World War II, are sometimes shown in history classes. Both received R ratings for violence and language.

The Falcon district, 50 miles south of Denver, had 11,000 students in the 2006-07 year. It has 14 schools, including two high schools.


Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com/


Julie said...

This takes me back to my teaching days. I got into trouble once for showing Braveheart to a Medieval History class. Too violent, said the parent. 'Cos, you know, the Middle Ages weren't a violent time at all. Pfftt!

Mrs. Chili said...

I show movies in my English classes all the time. Well, to be more precise, I show CLIPS of movies to my English classes all the time. Of course, I'm teaching college, so all my students are over the R rating age.

I can't disagree more with this stance. There are a lot of really rich and fruitful films, that can be shown with great effect, in high school classrooms that carry an R rating. I DO think that teachers need to be more specific about the PURPOSE of showing films (are we just watching this because the teacher needs a break? What are the students expected to do or know or think as a result of this experience?) but I don't think that an outright ban is going to be beneficial to anyone.

Of course, I hate censorship of ANY kind, so I'm not sure how much weight my opinion carries on this....

Kwizgiver said...

And I wonder how many high schoolers watch R-rated movies at home. Schindler's List is part of my curriculum--which was Board approved--which is the reason this article stuck with me. Such a blanket policy. gah!

Cat. said...

Just stopping by to point out that Colorado Spgs. is the home of Focus on the Family, and is known (at least among my family and close--politically liberal--friends) to be startlingly conservative.

Hence, this does not shock me in the least. My response: it figures.

sigh...teachers have an incredibly hard job...