Sunday, January 29, 2012
I don't like confrontation...but a certain teacher, who shall remained nameless, has got me ticked.
I am getting ready to call her out on the carpet...
Or maybe the hall...
Or quite possibly the playground.
Anya's teacher showed her class of fifth graders...
Wait for it....
Titanic. The movie.
Okay...not all of it. Just the last 30 minutes or so. You know, the part with a bunch of frozen dead people, a wacked out guy who shoots another guy before blowing his own head off and then there are the screams from thousands of dying passengers as the ship breaks in two and sinks to the bottom of the ocean.
Yea. That one. Because you know...it is SO appropriate as a historical teaching tool for a bunch of 10 and 11-year-olds. I guess I should be thankful they didn't show the modeling or sex scenes.
So... I'm drafting a letter. Here's what I have so far...
Dear Mrs. F...
Anya informed me of the movie that was shown during last Friday's class. She described in vivid detail the last 30 minutes or so of the movie Titanic. I have to admit, I was not only surprised, I was sickened by your decision.
Consider this description from Focus on the Family's website PluggedInOnline.com...
The terror facing those left behind on the doomed liner is disturbingly realistic. Violent moments find panic-stricken passengers falling from great heights. Other victims are electrocuted, drowned or crushed by toppling smokestacks. A nervous armed guard attempting to control the crowd shoots a man, then kills himself. When the ship's stern is thrust high into the air, its weight causes the boat to break in two, and the rear half crashes down on people flailing in the icy water. Once Titanic disappears below the surface, a lone lifeboat navigates the silent sea of dead, frozen bodies bobbing in the night tide. A grim climax.It could be argued that calamity and death are central to Titanic's maritime legacy and should not be sugarcoated. But what's truly unnecessary is the script's considerable dependence on profanity, including numerous s-words, one f-word, an obscene gesture and more than a dozen exclamatory uses of God's name. Was such language de rigueur in 1912?
Anya was quite disturbed by the movie. She described in vivid detail the portions involving frozen, dead people, the murder/suicide and the screams from dying people as the ship broke in two and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. It took a long discussion about the difference between movie and reality...which involved, 'Yes, it happened, but the people you saw aren't dead, they are actors' just to get her to sleep. I would hate to think of the children in your class whose parents weren't there to answer those questions for them.
And then there is the subject of children who have trauma-related disorders. While I don't believe Anya suffers from anything that serious...many children coming from her background do. Trauma triggers as simple as this movie often makes these children react in a fight/flight. Anya's sister, Maddie, may in fact, react very differently from the same movie. It is not something I want any of my children (including Nick next year) exposed to...especially without the supervision of their parents.
It's not that I so much opposed to you showing movies to the kids during school - although I'm not crazy about entertainment movies being used as an educational tool. Instead, it is the fact that a portion of a PG-13 movie was shown to my daughter without my permission. We have a very strict family policy of no PG-13 movies until the child reaches the age of 13...and maybe not even then. We have not allowed our 13 year old to watch Titanic...and I don't see that changing any time soon. I certainly didn't want my 11-year-old to see even a portion of it. Now, our family policy has not only been violated...her innocence has been as well. The most violent movie she had seen up until last Friday were PG rated Disney movies. It was that way by design.
I respectfully ask that a note or email be sent home if any more movies are on the schedule, so her father and I can determine if it is one we would like Anya to view.So...did I miss anything? I'm trying to be the adult here. I'm trying to take the higher ground. What I really want to do is go into their school tomorrow morning and knock some heads together.
I appreciate your cooperation.
But I won't.
Honestly, this teacher is one of the better ones in the school. She is strict, expects a lot of her kids, usually has a high moral standard and engages Anya in a way I have seen few teachers be able to do. Anya likes her...respects her...and responds to those higher standards. I would hate for he to lose that.
Homeschooling is looking more and more enticing all the time.