Sunday, April 27, 2003

Good Thing They Weren't Reading Romeo and Juliet

In today's Stupidity in Education story, CNN reports on a Florida teacher suspended for showing the first 20 minutes of Dracula. Although the high school teacher in question didn't show any nudity or parts of the movie which prompted the R rating, Stupid Superintendent Bill Vogel says:

Teachers are required to protect student's physical and mental health and "the content of this video is inappropriate and unacceptable for the classroom."

This is, of course, stupid for two reasons:

1. Although there must still be one or two high school students who have never seen an R-rated movie, the culture is full of equivalent-or-worse publically accessible content. Students see edited movies like this on TV all the time; their video games preach cop-killing and prostitution; heck, even NYPD Blue shows nudity. To pretend that not showing Dracula in class "protect[s] students' physical and mental health" is to pretend that the average high schooler lives in a Skinner box outside of school.

2. Although the reason the movie is rated R is that it is true to the book, no word on whether the book is similarly inappropriate. Ten bucks says the Superintendent never read Dracula in the first place.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:34 PM |

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