I couldn't sleep last night, due to this annoying spring cold. So I turned on the tv in my bedroom, hoping to pass the time or find something to lull me back to sleep. No such luck. I flipped from channel to channel, then settled on a "news show" (term used loosely here) that actually had the opposite effect. I found myself wanting to call in to set the host straight, until I realized this was a taped piece from who-knows-when.
The panel of "experts" (again a loose term) were talking about the ultra violence allowed on tv, etc. and the correlation with teen crimes becoming more violent. Their loud, distressed voices described both recent tv shows and movies along with footage of young teens being led off in handcuffs for sad, sad, crimes.
So ok, that would be enough to keep me from drifting back to sleep as I teach children who will quite soon be those teens. I am aware of the effects visual images have on kids, because I use visual modes on a daily basis for teaching. But what really provoked my anger was the host insisting teachers correct this problem in the classroom.
Yes, she actually stated that teachers should be providing classes and lessons to help our youngsters discriminate between popular culture and making good choices. I guess she feels we should put aside the academics we are originally hired for and tackle a issue created by Hollywood.
In theory, we do a form of this all through the day. Problems pop up in our classrooms, therefore we teach kids solutions and positive behaviors, and expect our schools to run smoothly.
But to place the solution for this societal problem on teachers is outrageous. I did not hear a call for all of society to stand up and demand better controls over what children are exposed to. Writers, directors, actors were not challenged to consider the effects of creating such pieces. It was not suggested that the profits of such work could be used to counter its bad effects.
No, they took the easy target. Toss it onto teachers. Not just educators, but today we are society's social workers.