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Waynesboro school board not happy with films shown in school

June 02, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- A list of movies including "Cast Away" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" was presented to the Waynesboro Area School Board as having been shown in the high school since March.

The board decided all movies scheduled to be shown in the schools must be approved by Superintendent James Robertson, who was told to generate periodic reports for the board.

Board President Ed Wilson said he talked to administrators for two years about the issue. Saying he was frustrated by a lack of action, Wilson handed out a student-generated list of movies shown in the past few weeks.

"It seems like there's a lot of movies being watched and not a lot of teaching going on. ... I think it's unacceptable," Wilson said.

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Looking at titles such as "The Simpsons," "The Flintstones" and "Saving Private Ryan," board member Leland Lemley said the students seemed to have lost a lot of instructional time. Board member Firmadge Crutchfield said he could understand showing an excerpt, but the student made notations that many showings were full-length films.

Wilson mentioned an unrelated, student-written letter viewed by the board.

"That child didn't know the difference between w-o-n and o-n-e," he said.

Biology teacher Mike Engle said he could understand some of the board's concerns, but cautioned that the new policy could be detrimental if a teacher becomes sick. A substitute teacher would have difficulty picking up some of the lessons and would benefit from showing a course-related movie, he said.

"I, as a parent, would prefer a study hall," resident Sherry Cline said during a public comment period.

If a teacher takes a sick day, Cline said the students should go to the library and read newspapers or books.

Anne Marie Lind, who graduated in 2007, suggested teachers could get approval in advance for five course-related movies and keep them in a cabinet. She said she has problems with the frequency and types of movies shown in classrooms.

"I don't see a need for an R-rated movie to be shown in school," she said.

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