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Should middle schoolers be able to watch r rated movies in school that go along with books they read

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/5/2015 Category: Cars
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,835 times Debate No: 71192
Debate Rounds (2)
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Movies are important to help children figure out challenging books. Many children can not understand complicated novels like "The Lord of the Flies," which is read in some advanced seventh grade language arts classes. That book can be hard to visualize and in that case you would need to watch the movie. The purpose of the movie is not to change your idea of the book but to pull the pieces that you missed together. It helps people visualize the book easier.


Movies are rated "R" for a reason. Many of them either contain adult themes, hard language, intense or persisting violence, nudity, drug-abuse, and other things unsuitable for some children. Although with technology today, the middle-school children are highly educated in many of these subjects. Many children in middle school already know and talk about sexual and violent activities, (believe me, I was in middle school, and it has only gotten worse from then on...) but that doesn't mean we should promote such thoughts with adult movies.

I am guessing you are in an advanced seventh grade language arts class in which you have read "The Lord of the Flies", or are in relations with someone who is, since you seem so specific. It is true that this book has some pieces that can escape the reader (I have read it before) but the same can go for any classic literature. The reason that these kids are in "advanced" language arts classes should be that they can visualize and perceive things in the language arts field better than others that are of the same age. And the school has probably not changed the books they choose to give or the curriculum that is taught in the class recently, meaning others before that class have succeeded in the class without the use of rated R movies. And if some people have had trouble visualizing certain aspects of a book or missed some information the book was trying to give, then the class can always have a group discussion and/or debate.

But let's say that it does help some groups of people with information better than a discussion or other means. Let's also suppose that most students have been subjected to sexual and or violent speech or activities. But I want to clarify "most". If even a few (maybe one or two of the socially awkward, mentally unstable, or innocent) kids do not understand what should or should not be emulated from a film, they may make dangerous decisions that could effect them and those around them.

Let's look at a few book movie examples, and try to apply conclusions that may happen in real life: The Great Gatsby is a book shown in many school facilities and considered one of the greatest pieces of literature ever created. This certain example contains many heinous acts including (but not limited to) violence (in revenge and anger), adultery, racism, alcohol abuse, suicide, peer pressure, lying for personal gain, and domestic violence. What if a child sees a movie based on this book and takes lessons from it? What if the child now thinks murder is "okay" as long as it is for vengeance? What if the child thinks that it is "alright" to commit acts of racism or domestic violence because it was shown in a film they've seen? What if a person feels guilty, like the character George, and decides after watching the film that the only way he can repent is to take his own life?

Let's look at another example: The Diary Of A Young Girl (The Diary Of Anne Frank) is a piece of literature considered to be an important memoir of history (I read this in my middle school). It contains acts of prejudice, hate crimes, and all of the characters never have a happy ending. They all are found out and either killed or sent to awful concentration camps. This gives a sense of worthlessness to children, like all their efforts could be destroyed and wasted at any given time. This can cause depression in students, and lead to unwanted and uncertain side-effects. Not only this, but the prejudice shown in the book, when read by children, can lead to more prejudice (such as a person harassing another who is of Germanic descent).

Or we can even use the example you have given us: The Lord Of The Flies, another book considered a masterpiece built on two conflicting philosophies that are both equally wrong. And the only person who is morally innocent and correct and could have brought the two parties together (Simon) is killed first before anyone else. This can again make the good decision look like it has consequences that children would not want to take. This book also contains bullying of Piggy, the most "intelligent" of the group, who also dies. This can show that being the odd-one-out or being the smartest-man-in-the-room can lead to harsh outcomes. Not to mention the thing that this book and movie contains the most of is violence. There are children committing acts of murder, abuse, assault, harassment, and overall being savages. And no repercussions are given to these children by adults at all. This can promote a feeling of "if no one is watching I can do whatever I want and not be punished". This is a horribly wrong and immoral lesson to teach children who may not know better.

Although these are all hypothetical conclusions, again I want to state that these things could happen. The chance that movies shown in middle schools does have one of these effects could lead to the of endangering the students and their acquaintances. The risk of something happening greatly outweighs the need of a student to perceive every detail a book contains, especially when there are other alternatives to do so.
Debate Round No. 1


Children in middle school watch R rated movies a lot. With a permission slip teachers can show the movies. The movies that would be the worst to show kids in class either don't have a book or the book would be inappropriate as well. Not watching an R movie would make it so that they have to watch something else. Many movies that are rated R now and based on Classic books have a movie rated something less than r. An example from "The Lord of the Flies" movie is there is a pg-13 movie as well as an R one. The pg13 movie is black and white. Most of it is hard to tell what is going on. The r movie is in color and therefore it is easier to figure out what is going on. Let's face it, there is nothing wrong with showing an r rated movie that parents gave teachers permission to show. Sometimes even advanced classes can act like children and good off while they are supposed to be reading. Sometimes middle schoolers in advanced classes need that extra push to understand things. A teachers job is to help children learn and understand the topic and they should be able to do that even for complex literature. Sometimes movies are important and that means ones rated r.


It doesn't matter what middle-schoolers do with their parents' permission on their own time. Whether some of them watch rated R movies or deal drugs, it does not pertain to the topic at hand. This topic is about if schools should show rated R movies that go along with the books they've read. It is true most rated R movies don't have books, or at least ones that are suitable for children. But I am confused about your next line. "Not watching an R movie would make it so that they have to watch something else." This is not true in the slightest. There are alternatives to watching movies to get information from a book, as I have already stated in the last round. Debating with other children, doing projects that pertain to the book, or even having the teacher explain things that are important for students to know can be alternatives to watching inappropriate movies. Many movies based on books do have movies rated less than R, but we are not talking about those books. Having two different movies, with one movie in color doesn't mean it is easier to figure out than the one without. Those two movies are two completely different movies, and have different interpretations of the book and its contents. There are many things wrong with showing an R rated movie to children under the age limit, even if their parents signed a permission slip. Many children goof off while reading, but that does not mean the school has to cater to these children with a movie that is inappropriate. If they miss things because they goofed off, whose fault is it but their own? Every kid can need an extra push. If they don't understand things they can ask a teacher or guardian about them, or participate in events that I have stated before. Movies can be important, but they aren't necessary for children to understand books. There are alternatives that can be used with little to no risk at all of a child's mental, physical, or psychological state of being. Rated R movies are just too big of a risk to children of that age when you can avoid the risk altogether. I would argue that PG-13 ratings are fine for them, but not R.
Debate Round No. 2
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