Class Time Matinees Not Very Shocking at All

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 21, 1997 | Go to article overview

Class Time Matinees Not Very Shocking at All


Byline: Bill Granger

As teachers who purse their lips when they talk might say showing movies like "Striptease" and "Scream" in the classroom during school hours was inappropriate.

Even Paul Vallas, head of the Chicago public schools, thinks kids should not be marched to class just to watch movies. He said so Monday after yet another school admitted it was doing matinee screenings of a blood-and-sexer called "Scream."

This followed up the suspension of a city teacher two weeks ago for showing "Striptease," a semi-dirty movie that has been shown on cable 34 million times in recent months.

The teacher's crime was showing "Striptease" to grade-school kids in a classroom during school hours instead of letting them watch it as usual in the safety of their homes after their parents went to bed.

When the teacher was caught, he was immediately suspended from showing movies and transferred to the school bureaucracy on Pershing Road to shuffle papers. Talk about your thumbs down. If teach does real good on shuffling papers, he can get a deck of cards next week.

Poor Paul Vallas. It must be hard to keep a straight face when you're asking for more money to run quality schools and your teachers show up in classrooms with movies in one hand and Jujubees in the other.

The city is down in Springfield during the spring session of the legislature, cheering on efforts from the governor and others to raise state income taxes to help public schools in their perpetual battle with insolvency. The only school tax not currently considered is a special-use tax on movie rental stores. Movies in the school always have been a big favorite with teachers and kids. Movies are much more interesting than most classes, for instance. Even when they're not interesting, they don't rap you on the head when you fall asleep during their dialogue. And teachers get much-needed downtime when "Kindergarten Cop" is flickering on the black board.

Vallas seemed as though he was shocked to find that teachers were wasting classroom hours to do training as projectionists. It's hard to believe that two years into his term as the ultimate school reformer, he has just been clued in about matinee movies. What lies in store for him? Will someone reveal to him that some students have pushed up their achievement test scores because someone gave them the answers? …

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Class Time Matinees Not Very Shocking at All
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