Thursday, January 3, 2013
This morning I was watching our local news and found out that nearby Herriman High School's production of All Shook Up has been cancelled because it does not meet new district policies that were put in place last year after complaints about another musical. All this has happened because one person expressed concerns.
WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?
Really. How bad can this musical be? I haven't seen it, but I am confident that I would let my kids go see it. Even without me. I don't know exactly what the standards are, but will any play or musical meet them? Will the students ever be exposed to topics that might make them think about where THEY stand on an issue?
I can't say that I am against censorship because that would be hypocritical. I do not believe that nudity, sexual acts, mortal violence, or hate rants are things that I want (or want my children) to be exposed to everyday. But I also don't want them to grow up in the dark about what is out in the world.
My brother bought me Mickey in the Night Kitchen when I was little. A banned book! Gasp! And guess what? I am not scarred and I don't have nightmares about naked boys floating through a kitchen. The whole hulaballoo was dumb.
I am all about teachable moments. When we watch a movie, see a play, hear a song, or watch a commercial that brings up a topic of concern, I use it to TALK to my kids. They are smarter than we think. And they know a lot more than we wish they did.
So be forewarned. There is very little censoring at my house. We do avoid Rated R movies because the Prophet has asked us to. (And I don't think I have missed much there.) We do allow them to play M games (they are 19,16, and 15) because we would rather have them play at home than sneak over to their friends' houses to play. We discuss violence, responsibility, and choices in relation to the games. They can read just about anything (I would draw the line at porn- I haven't read 50 Shades of Gray and I'm not going to let the guys "read" Playboy or Penthouse.) But yesterday we had a great discussion about pre-marital sex, STD's, infatuation and abstinence. I will answer ANY question that I am asked, to the best of my knowledge. That is my job as a parent.
Maybe if more people TAUGHT and TALKED to their kids, they wouldn't have to worry so much about what they might encounter out in the world. And maybe they wouldn't have to worry about MY kids.
For those of you who may not know, most companies that lease plays have a clause that PROHIBITS teachers from changing or censoring a play. The body of work that is "appropriate" is shinking at a frightening rate.