The producers of the movie Selma arranged for free tickets for hundreds of thousands junior high school kids to go see it and learn about the civil rights struggle of the 1960's, a struggle that continues today. But in Alabama, where the real-live events depicted in the movie took place, one high school history club has been barred from seeing the movie because of "language and violence concerns".
DeKalb County school superintendent Hugh Taylor cancelled the outing by students at the predominately minority school, saying he was concerned about obscene language and “racial profanity” in the Oscar-nominated film.
An African-American parent of one senior in the history club who had planned on seeing the film questioned the superintendent’s motives.
“It raises my curiosity as to whether something that they are not wanting exposed or the children not to know about.” said Reverend James Stanton. “I don’t believe it is just about the profanity.”
Stanton, who was 20 in 1965, explained that he lived through the era and was warned to stay away out of safety concerns.
“They did not want me to come down and visit because of the violence and the racial problems that they were having at the time.” said Stanton.
According to Taylor, he is concerned about what would happen if a child was offended by the film and wanted to leave the theater, saying he didn’t think teachers should have to be put in the position of playing parent.
Ahh, the ol' in loco parentis argument. Isn't that what permission slips are for? If Taylor is right, why have after school activities and clubs at all in public school?
Oh, and Taylor's own four kids? They go to private school. Go figure.
Here are a bunch of kids who like school and learning, in a predominately minority school. They like it so much they joined the school's history club to learn more about America's history. Then you tell them "No, sorry, when it's the history of your people in the state that you lived in, history that your grandparents lived through, well, we think you might be offended by it, so you can't go."
Amazing. You mean that black kids might learn that there's still racism in Alabama, and in fact it's been part of a long history?
We can't have schools being involved in teaching that. They need to learn less controversial stuff like the Earth is only 6,000 years old and about intelligent design, right? Or better yet, we need to let churches teach that in Alabama.