Just As I Thought

Where’s Jack Valenti when you need him?

I’ve seen lots of stories over the last month about “The Passion of the Christ” and people who’ve seen it even before it was released. Where were they getting copies from? Now, from Washington, comes this story:

Parents Irate Over ‘Passion’ In School
6th-Graders Offered Counseling After Film

As a teacher showed sixth-graders at the District’s Malcolm X Elementary School parts of the movie “The Passion of the Christ,” 11-year-old Cutairra Ransom was growing upset by the violence unfolding in front of her.

“I saw Jesus getting beaten,” Cutairra said yesterday. “Needles were going in his arms. It was scary the way they was beating him.”

After about 15 minutes of watching the R-rated film about the final hours of Jesus’s life, Cutairra said she walked out of the room.

She was one of the 16 to 20 students who were shown the movie Tuesday at the public school, which is in the Congress Park neighborhood of Southeast Washington. D.C. school officials, who said sixth-graders should not be shown R-rated movies at school, have placed the teacher, Ronald Anthony, on leave with pay pending an investigation.

Among the issues that school system investigators say they are looking into is how Anthony obtained a copy of the movie, which has not been released on videotape or DVD.

How, indeed. Well, here’s my latest conspiracy theory for your amusement: Mel Gibson and/or the releasing studio has quietly released videotape copies of the film to select evangelistic and fundamentalist churches, hoping to create a grassroots movement to promote the film. Gibson himself has said that they are his “core audience.” You know, showing this in class was wrong for at least two reasons: first, why would you show an ultra-violent R-rated film in a sixth-grade class? Second, this was a religious ultra-violent R-rated film.

Oh, one last thing:

… He said the teacher told him that he presented excerpts corresponding to information the students had read in a social studies book.

As someone who works in the area of social studies education, I’m curious as to what social studies book that was, and what information it contained.


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