Okay to show R-rated movie?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Milsey, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2011

    My kids really responded to Welcome to the Dollhouse last year. There is a lot of crude language (bitch, faggot etc) a school fight, but no sex. It is frankly the most realistic and unflinching portrayal of middle school life I have ever seen..

    I want to continue to show quirky, provocative movies, not the typical, mind-deadening Hollywood junk "Night at the Museum" "Home Alone 2" that some teachers dump on the kids.

    I also recommend "Nightmare before Christmas" during discussion of trickster characters and I showed a subtitled movie, Sophie Scholl , to tie into our Anne Frank unit.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 13, 2011

    No. It's not.

    Check with your principal, and send letters home to each and every parent getting permission. But know that you'll have a battle on your hands. Those kids who are not allowed to view the movie will need an alternate assignement, and are likely to catch some flack from their class mates.

    Why show a movie on middle school life? Aren't they LIVING middle school life?

    How does any teacher find time to show movies like Night at the Museum or Home Alone??
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I teach high school and I am not allowed to show things that are rated R, so you may want to check district and school policies. All of my movies must be on my approves syllabus or approved by administration and a part of my lesson plans to be able to show them.

    I teach film studies, and I show a lot of movies and clips from movies, but I always make sure they are appropriate.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    We are not allowed to show R rated movies to our students. We cannot even show PG 13 movies to our middle schoolers as many are not 13 yet.
     
  6. Ms.SLS

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    I wouldn't show an R rated movie to my high school juniors, much less middle school students. I know most of them watch it at home anyway, but school isn't home.

    Plus, I think showing movies that aren't tied directly to novels, or maybe historical events are a total waste of time.
     
  7. Joy

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    Absolutely not!!!
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I agree. Movies should be tied to content. (My content is film studies, so they are all tied to my content, but even I am picky about what I will show...) It frustrates me to hear, "Oh, all we ever do in English is watch movies." Or, "We watched another movie in biology today." I swear some teachers show more movies than I do and I teach a class about movies! They can certainly be valuable educational tools, and I understand the need for some occasional downtime, but when it gets to be every week, that's too much.

    Although, when I taught elementary we showed a movie each Friday that was related to the content and that had an enrichment activity that went with it. We used it as a reward. Only students who had completed all of their work and had good behavior for the week got to attend. The others had different activities to do. It was a big motivator for our kids, and they would still talk about things they learned from the movies and activities weeks later. But again, this was related to content!
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 13, 2011

    My school took on a no movie policy. We can show clips of movies but no movie in it's entirety even if it relates to content.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 13, 2011

    In addition,Milsey, you posted this a few weeks ago:

    "I received 2 unsatisfactories this year. My principal offered to scrape them from my record if I resigned and agreed to never seek employment with the district again.
    Should I do this ? I've already been laid off. I know U's look bad, but If I resign I can't get unemployment comp. Right now, the job market is bad and I'm not sure I will get anything Full-Time in September."

    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=141605&page=2

    Is this a job in a brand new district?

    Why on earth would you jeopardize your career further? Particulary with a child to suppor?
     
  11. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Jul 13, 2011

    i would not show R rated movies to middle schoolers...totally inappropriate. I wouldn't do it, even if the principal said it was ok.
     
  12. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    An R rated movie for 8th graders? Definitely not.
     
  13. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    wow, didn't realize these two threads were the same person...Milsey, i think you need a little more common sense...you said in the other thread that you are new to the profession and it is understandable if you make mistakes, things happen....but things like this? come on.
     
  14. Proud2BATeacher

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    I really can't believe that someone is asking this question.... No, you cannot show an R-rated movie without permission from your principal and from each parent/guardian of your students. Most districts don't allow them to be shown.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Our district has only a handful of hard and fast offenses that will get you fired: stealing, having sex with a student, hitting a student, and...showing R-rated movies. Not kidding.

    In my district, you're never allowed to show an R-rated movie. Not ever. To any grade level. Even if there's something educational in the R-rated movie, and I'll give you that some R-rated movies do have some tremendous educational merit, it's still not appropriate to show an R-rated movie or any part of it in class. Find another way to teach your lesson.
     
  16. Peachyness

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    Well, in my mind, a movie has to be rated R for a reason. I've seen plenty of pg-13 movies with cuss words. These rated R movies must be rated R for a reason, right? So, no, they are not appropriate for middle schoolers. Did you get permission to show them?

    And, according to what Alice pointed out, are you even still at that school?
     
  17. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    We can show PG 13 with permission, and must be content related in our middle school. I believe county policy is no R rated movies in the high school.
     
  18. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    This might be a bit excessive. I showed some clips from R-rated movies last year, but the clips I showed certainly would have been rated G or PG. I showed the multitake at the end of The Usual Suspects, the parody of that scene from Scream,and a small part of the baptism scene from The Godfather, stopping right as the shooting starting, to show how intercutting can be used to build suspense. That's all I can think of now, but I'm sure there are others. They had valid educational purpose and were not inappropriate.
     
  19. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I feel wrong even showing PG without permission from parents.

    That said, I do use some clips from R rated movies (Gladiator comes tom ind) but the clips are PG at worst.
     
  20. LUCHopefulTeach

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    No way. I would not show an R-rated movie and if my child brought home a permission slip to show one I would be calling that principal immediately!
     
  21. midwestteacher

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    Jul 13, 2011

    No R rated movies at any time.
    Our principal sponsors an "Honor Roll Celebration" each quarter and the kids on Honor Roll get to pick from one of several movies to watch. This highest rating is PG-13 and the high school students must have a signed permission slip to watch these or they go back to class.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It might be a bit excessive, but it's the policy of my district and so I follow it. I'm not about to get fired for showing 300, even though I'd really, really, really love to show it.
     
  23. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Oh, I agree with following district policy. I would absolutely follow it in your position, but I'm very glad that it is not the policy of my district.
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My district has a large Mormon population, so I wonder if that's part of the rationale behind such a policy. I don't really know.
     
  25. ms99

    ms99 Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2011

    When I was in high school, we watched Schindler's List. But we were seniors, and if we had not turned 18 yet our parents had to sign a release form.

    With that said, I certainly wouldn't show anything rated R to middle-schoolers.
     
  26. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    No, obviously and why do you need to show movies anyway? They can watch TV at home, school should be... um.. educational.
     
  27. Brendan

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    I'll be in the minority here. I've shown edited (TV edited) versions of the Patriot, Saving Private Ryan, etc. to my 8th graders. Most of the time I don't show the whole thing. My AP students (11th graders and 12th graders) see the unedited cuts.
     
  28. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We watched Schindler's List in 10th grade at my high school. At the high school I student taught at they showed it in 9th grade.

    I don't think I'd ever show an R rated movie though. My cooperating teacher does a writing assignment every year when she teaches Beowulf. The kids get to pick from a list of movies and talk about epic heroes and whether the characters meet the requirements or not. I know one of the movies is The Godfather. The kids don't watch the movies at school. Not sure if she sends home a form about it or not :confused:

    ETA: I know at my high school we had to get a permission slip signed. Not sure about the school I student taught at.
     
  29. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My daughter read and watched Schindler's List for an independent study unit last year in grade 11; I needed to sign a permission form stating that I knew the movie was R rated and that I gave my permission for her to watch it.

    I can show PG movies, but not PG-13 to my grade 7 and 8 students.
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :yeahthat:

    I can't imagine an administrator thinking it appropriate to show even a snippet of an R rated movie to middle school students...truthfully I can't imagine why a professional educator would think it was ok.:eek:
     
  31. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    i have shown "Donald in Mathemagic land" to my 9th graders...thats the only movie/Cartoon/video that I have ever shown in my classroom.....with math, there are not many educational programs to watch.
     
  32. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Why are you showing movies anyway? I can think of a few instances where they are valuable and appropriate, but not many, and not any justifying an R-rated movie.
     
  33. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I still remember my 10th grade World Studies teacher showing us an HBO biopic of the Mandelas starring Danny Glover and Alfre Woodward. She stood in front of the screen during the one scene the couple was talking in bed. There was no nudity, but she felt so uncomfortable that they could have been naked under the covers (I'm guessing) that she shielded us from the visuals. The audio, however, was too pivotal to miss.

    There is being protective and there is being overly protective. Showing a made-for-television movie is probably okay. Showing a film that a student couldn't watch in a theater without parental permission is probably one that is best shown as a teensy snippet at best.
     
  34. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Sorry, I did mean to put movies relating to the lesson. I have shown parts of Stand and Deliver after we read the biography of Jaime Escalante. :)
     
  35. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jul 13, 2011

    My 10th grade English teacher showed the Matrix (rated R) in class. My parents are very religious, and in fact don't watch R rated movies themselves as adults, so of course I wasn't allowed to watch it. I was so embarrassed that I pretended I just forgot the permission slip and got a lot of flack from my teacher for it. It turned out though, in a class of only 11 students (our advanced classes were really small), 2 other students weren't allowed to watch it either. I can imagine in middle school that number would be a lot higher. Even if you can justify that the movie would be a great educational tool, it's just going to cause too many problems. You need to find something else to do instead.
     
  36. Mrs.SLF

    Mrs.SLF Comrade

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    I'm actually with you and I've showed parts of The Patriot to my 8th graders with parental consent. I'm wondering what the OP wants to show her students, though.
     
  37. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Our school is clips or shorts only. I believe the district policy is that you can show a rated G movie without permission slips; everything else needs one.

    I remember I showed Baz Luhrman's "Romeo & Juliet" when I taught 9th grade - the kids were having such a hard time with the language. It was such a hassle getting permission slips back that I swore I'd never show another movie again.

    And as a side note, another teacher at that school thought it would be important for his students to see "American History X." Without permission slips. He was promptly fired.
     
  38. platypusok

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    I would love to show Glory to my 8th grade U.S. History. At the end of the year, after testing, we do a civil war activity where half the class are the Union and half are the Confederates and they pick roles, etc. But it's R and I can't bring myself to do it.

    But Welcome to the Dollhouse? I haven't seen it since it came out in the late 90s (??) but what possible reason would you show it?

    With that being said, my dream class would be an elective course on the history of cinema and then I could get my film geek on. It would be magnificent.


    I do show tons of movie clips in my classroom...from either youtube or movieclips.com.
     
  39. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    You wouldn't be the first one to do it. I subbed a middle school class on Halloween a few years ago. The teacher left me a scary DVD to play. I wasn't paying too much attention, but luckily I glanced up during the bar scene where a girl was dancing topless. I was horrified. Please don't do it. I won't even show R movies to my 18 year old students.

    During the last week of school, my students asked for a particular movie that was PG-13. I played it for about 5 minutes. There was swearing and sexual innuendo. My aide and I were so uncomfortable that we stopped it. The students grouched and complained, but it's not worth risking my career to make them happy.

    Don't do it.
     
  40. HWilson

    HWilson Comrade

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    The ELA teacher across the hall showed "The Outsiders" and because of its rating she first got approval from the principal. Then she sent out a permission slip explaining the movie and why it had it's rating. She was specific in her permission slip. She assured the parents if they did not want their child to view the movie there would be no backlash and discrete. She had alternate work/fun activities prepared and simply allowed them to sit in my classroom (across the hall) during the movie. Maybe that is something you want to consider....
     
  41. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    The Outsiders is rated PG-13 I think.
     

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