R Movies In The Classroom

One mother in Huntington Beach, California went through ten lawyers until she found Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute (pacificjustice.org, a non-profit that advocates for the rights of students and parents) to help her.  All the other attorneys suggested she was a “prude” and chastised her about not being up to speed with 2007.

Her advocacy prompted the Huntington Beach Union High School District trustees to consider a proposal that would regulate movies in the classroom.  The proposal would require teachers to obtain parental permission before showing portions of R-rated movies.  The policy essentially discourages the use of R-rated movies in the classroom.  Evidently, the Huntington Beach district did not have a written policy.  How convenient. 

Mr. Dacus is quoted in the Orange County Register of January 15, 2008 (www.ocregister.com/news/movies-kazor-policy-1959439-teachers-school) as saying: “The garbage they showed these children…was a very serious breach of parental trust.”  The mother said: “These teachers are supposed to be us when we’re not there.  They’re supposed to be role models.  I wanted the opportunity to have the permission sent to me in the form of a permission slip.”

Taking up classroom time showing a whole movie seems to me to be a lazy way to approach a teaching job.  Recommending a movie to students and then sending a memo home to the parents making that suggestion and explaining its value, seems a more responsible and professional means to what is supposed to be an “educational” aid.