A teacher at an elementary school gave his fifth graders the chance to watch a movie in class as a “break.” (Way to maximize class time, teach!) The class chose to watch Insidious, a pretty decent old school fright fest by Saw‘s James Wan and Leigh Whannell. One of the boys in the class went home so scared that he vomited until midnight. This school has a common sense policy that any video to be shown in class must first get the administration’s approval; in this case, that approval was not sought, so the teacher is indisputably in the wrong on that score.
Perhaps the most salient point is that the class, as a whole, voted to watch Insidious. This wasn’t something simply inflicted upon them by the teacher; they chose it. One of the first questions I had was whether the kid who went home sick voted with the majority; that question isn’t answered in that story. Let’s assume he didn’t, though. Let’s say that, once everyone else voted for the scary movie, he had no choice but to go along with it. Ten is a tender age at which to learn life’s harshest lessons, but one of them is that participating in a representative democracy, despite its advantages, sucks sometimes. This is an election year. We, the American people, are being offered a choice between two mainstream contenders for the presidency (and several outsiders that have virtually no chance whatsoever at winning the election). I am opposed to both the establishment candidates. The boy in this story — as well as his class — was apparently presented with a choice between a scary movie and a comedy. The options were apparently preselected by the teacher. Much like that class, the American public is being given the choice between a joke and a horror show. It’s a wonder I don’t vomit through the night, too.