Current/Recent Reading List

07 November 2006

Inane Clown Posse

Our technology teacher has been having his kids produce a school news show once a week, giving them a chance to work with cameras, effects, sound and editing equipment, etc. Once a week, for the last few weeks, they've been airing the ten minute segment over the school's closed circuit system.

I really like the teacher, but he's pretty loosey-goosey, and gives the kids much leniency in their content. In fact, a couple of his kids apparently have quite a bit of "creative control" over the production - and they are not the ones you would want in that position. So, what we've been treated to is a series of minimal newscasts suffocated by lots of "yo, yo whass'up which ya homies, this here's J.T. which ya info for today" intros, sign throwing, hip-hop background music, bump and grind dancing before and after the "newscast", and a couple of silly skits. To put it shortly and sweetly, and politically incorrectly, the kids on screen were doing their best imitations of the worst clowners you can imagine from hip-hop, rap, or redneck videos.

Now, I feel like a grandma pointing this out, but I was fairly offended by the first showing, and completely offended by the second. An actual grandma colleague came by yesterday, asking me to bring up her objections at the next School Improvement Meeting. I concurred, and since have found out there have been several other objections already voiced.

Here's the thing - I teach, or have taught, some of the boys (it's mostly boys in there) who are doing the clowning, and they are good kids who are capable of succeeding in life. Three of them are black, with no dad at home, and we all know what the percentages say about that. I simply want them, when they are at school, to aim for something higher, and more dignified, than the same stereotypical lowest-common-denominator junk they see on t.v.

The good news is that I brought this up with two of them today, and they agreed. One was actually perturbed because he said the student producers kept telling him to play the hip-hop angle up, even though he preferred not to. The other said he totally understood what my point was, and that the teacher had already decided to clean up that stuff, based on the complaints he had heard.

Dignity no longer rises to the level of the Darcy's or the Bennet's, but at least it still exists as a freakin' concept. By God.

No comments: