The Dreaded “G Movie” School Rule

Movies in school should be shown by content, not rating.


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Warning labels on movies indicate if the content is safe for children and reasons why it isn’t

by Jake Grosvenor, Opinions Editor

Every year, we all here the same thing coming to school: “Can we watch this movie?”

Inevitably, the movie is PG and not allowed to be shown without a parent slip. The rule in CCSD and many other schools across the nation follow the same rule: only G movies can be shown in the class without slips.

More specifically in CCSD, the rule states no movie with the rating over PG can be shown period, and PG movies can only be shown in grades 7-12. Not only is this rule useless, but it also can make teaching lessons in classes much harder.

The MPAA system exists to help parents understand the severity of a film. PG means that there is some subjects that can be inappropriate to some kids. Over the years, the ratings have been tightened more and more, as parents become more and more protective.

Forums all over the web have discussed an outrage as teachers show their kids a PG movie without asking. Many parents have made tough rules, saying kids aren’t allowed to see PG movies till they are teens. As a result, only movies rated G can be shown in class.

This can cause an issue in higher grades, for example, such as reading Shakespeare. While reading the plays are a good source of learning, a play is meant to be seen. The plays in and of themselves are full of sexual references, jokes, death and gore. Not only are the books allowed, but they are part of curriculum.

It makes no sense that a student can read the intense play, but not see it the way it’s meant to be experienced. Similarly, there is no restriction to what can be read, ranging from books discussing burning books to reading about the genocide of WWII. Explicit Holocaust videos are even shown in history class, but the minute movies are involved in anything over a disney princess film intensity level, it’s deemed too much for teens.

Not only does this make teaching hard, but it can ruin kids lives. Sheltering kids alone is a dangerous act, but doing it in school makes it worse. After school, the world can’t be hidden from your eyes because of a few rules. Everyone will be exposed to things they don’t like, and we need to teach ways to cope with those feelings, not hide them from kids because Shrek called Donkey an idiot.

After middle school, everyone is over the age of 13, so why is it PG movies still can’t be shown without permission? High school itself is pretty R rated, having kids curse along with teachers, graphic books and are living in a time where darker subjects like depression are more common than ever.  So,with all this in mind, why is watching the PG film of Othello too much for students wanting to learn about something that is meant to be seen?

Besides the ratings being an overprotective tool, they also aren’t effective. Over the years as kids get more sheltered, the more strict ratings become. Take Who Framed Roger Rabbit? as  an example. The movie stars an alcoholic cop who takes on a case that involves murdering toons with acid, a rabbit married to a showgirl and some profound language. This movie was given a PG rating because of the time; nowadays that’d be PG-13 for substance abuse, sexual themes and crude language. This means older G movies aren’t exempt either.

Why is it teachers have to follow rules, when the rules could show the one thing they are trying to teach? Teachers should be allowed to choose what to show and what not to show. Not only will this help teaching where movies are a great tool, but it will also stop children from not knowing what really lies in the real world.