The Seattle Times' Opinion on "Public Forum" Student Papers

"But we say again it is a risky thing to give legal control of a high-school newspaper to students."

Seattle Times Editorial

Monday, March 29, 2010


An anonymous freshman said...

All the awful stuff in the Squall is seen by any kid over 4th grade on the bus. They are all interested in the paper and read it. I tear out bad pages before I let them have my copy, but they still get it from other high school kids. They are really really influenced and they think if you are cool you should act like the people in the Squall.

In addition to the Squall, isn't Venus on the wall next to the CPA pornography? Not only do the high school kids have to see it, but little kids who come in for band concerts and orchestra too. Many kids I talk to wish it was just painted over. I personally find it degrading and disrespectful to girls. Why don't they let the seniors paint a dress on her or something?

It isn't just Venus, we are stuck watching some horrible movies in a freshman class as well. By horrible, I mean to show my parents clips of the movies shown in class that are also on youtube, you have to sign on youtube that you are over 18 due to content "inappropriate for some users"!

In my personal opinion, the teachers who allow these movies about as mature as the kids who put the Crome pictures in the Squall.

An angry and disappointed freshman girl!


Anonymous said...

Which movies are you referring to specifically?

Also, which classes were they shown in?

Anonymous said...

I hope parents who are concerned about exposure to high school "activities" are attending the busing meetings. If Dexter consolidates to one-tier busing (K-12 all on the same bus), these younger students will be exposed to much more on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

The mural across from the CPA is a collection of famous art from around the world, Venus being included as one of the great pieces. The original picture showed Venus completely uncovered, but she was altered to be more appropriate for the school setting. It is meant to show the beauty of the woman, not to be degrading. I do not mean to disagree with what you say, I just want to make sure that everyone understands the context of the picture.

Working Toward a Better Dexter said...

I've seen the original in Florence and it is a beautiful painting. Luminous. Smaller than you would imagine it to be.

But doesn't the freshman girl get to have her own opinion without a bunch of hate mail?

I'll answer that. Yes.

And what about her valid point of school bus distribution?

To respond to the unposted question of whether she's the daughter of the blog editor: she's not my daughter. My daughter is 10. This came in as an "anonymous" comment like 95% of the comments.

Ria said...

Yes, the freshman girl does have the right to her opinion. However, everyone else has the right to respectfully agree or disagree. And she's suggesting that a dress be painted on something as iconic as Venus. She should expect people to be (respectfully) horrified. ;)

I apologize on behalf of DHS students for any "hate mail" this blog may have received. Not all of us are that immature!

As for the movies, she has a point. I imagine Ms Freshman is referring to titles like "Far and Away" and "Romeo and Juliet," both of which have sexual content (arguably tame, but taste varies.) Let's be honest, the movies we saw in American Studies (or whatever its equivalent is these days) really have a tenuous link at best to what we are learning. ("Eight Men Out"?? Come on!). If a student is disturbed by any content of a movie, it outweighs whatever educational benefit there is to seeing Tom Cruise mostly naked. I suggest the teachers who come up with that curriculum make a packet for students which tells what movies are to be watched, and what alternate assignment can be done.

As for "school bus distribution," this seems a bit hyperbolic to me. I rode the bus for most of high school, and I don't remember anyone in high school interacting with a fourth grader, much less handing out copies of The Squall. But, these are both personal anecdotes. Maybe there should be an investigation before we all get into a frenzy.
Maria B.
DHS Class of 2008

Working Toward a Better Dexter said...

Thank you Maria. You have a legitimate point and know how to state it clearly.

I don't hear about my children seeing the high school paper, but maybe on her route they do. It is certainly possible.

Anonymous said...

I liked Maria B.'s letter, too! I think the optional assignments for many American Studies' movies would be a good solution.

So many unanswered questions! The freshman girl may be history buff who has read both Greek and Roman mythology. Perhaps she is disgusted that Venus (who actually is the Greek goddess Aphrodite) was formed by an act of patricide when Zeus cut off his father's (Kronos) genetalia and tossed them into the sea foam. This beautiful fully formed, sexually desirable woman sprang from the sea. She was known for being unfaithful to her husband, and was worshipped in temples throughout Greece and the middle east with sacrifice of garlands of flowers and animals (usually goats). In several locations, especially Corinth, it has been documented that the priestess' of Aphrodite were prostitutes to the upper classes. Feel free to fact check and learn!
How many adults (not in academe) spend their day at the office with an eight foot tall naked false god who had young girls prostitute themselves in her honor? Go ahead, look down on me. I believe ideas can be more important than the art, I think it is inappropriate too! :)
DHS Parent

Anonymous said...