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That my dd’s school show them cert 15 films at 13/14?

(87 Posts)
Geraniumpink Wed 15-May-19 23:03:38

As the title says. Is this usual at other schools? She’s about to watch ‘Dead Man Walking’ as part of her English class. They’ve already seen ‘The Pianist’ last term in History.

dirtystinkyrats Wed 15-May-19 23:11:43

Do they watch the whole thing or part or an edited version?

Geraniumpink Wed 15-May-19 23:16:27

They saw all the Pianist. I think the teacher will be fast forwarding through one bit of dead man Walking. I haven’t watched the films myself, so I have no idea how graphic they are.

SnowyAlpsandPeaks Wed 15-May-19 23:35:33

In all honesty kids can find more graphic and scary things on YouTube these days.

Littlegoth Wed 15-May-19 23:37:26

Although it’s against the law to show them to people below the age on the certificate.

In whole or part.

Teddybear45 Wed 15-May-19 23:41:01

Those are probably films they should be watching at this age. Rating systems need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Also it’s not illegal as they are watching it with a supervising adult.

Waterandlemonjuice Wed 15-May-19 23:42:37

iirc there’s a graphic rape flashback in dead man walking so not ok for 13yos imo

CloudyForest Wed 15-May-19 23:44:27

It isn't illegal for educational purposes @Littlegoth. The school can show anything they want.

In all honesty, I think you need to unclench and stop sheltering your DC, OP. 99 % of 14 year olds will have watched 15 rated films without the world ending, and you're doing your DC no favours socially or intellectually by sheltering them.

It's not even like they're showing random comedies. The films being shown are educational and relevant to the courses being studies. Let it go.

clairemcnam Wed 15-May-19 23:58:16

It sounds like the teacher is fast forwarding past the scene that means it is a 15. So I don't see the issue.

SachaStark Thu 16-May-19 00:06:35

The age restrictions don’t apply for educational purposes. When I was a media teacher, as a courtesy, I’d do a letter home to parents of new Year 10s to explain what they’d be watching on the course, but if I couldn’t show them the footage, they’d miss half the stuff they’d need for their exams!

As an English teacher now, my school is very pro the students watching play/film versions of the texts they study in class to support their learning. So they watch Of Mice and Men, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, etc etc. I’ve never checked the age rating on any of them, because they just absolutely need to see them in their entirety.

I really wouldn’t worry about it at secondary school. It’s such a small difference in age to the BBFC age rating, and with teenagers, it’s highly likely they’ll have seen worse stuff at home/on theirs or their mates phones anyway.

Littlegoth Thu 16-May-19 00:11:59

It doesn’t matter that they are watching it with a supervising adult - the supervising adult is breaking the law.

Littlegoth Thu 16-May-19 00:16:37

I don’t always agree with film certifications and I’m definitely no Mary Whitehouse. You can be a supervising adult in the USA, but UK law doesn’t allow this.

Littlegoth Thu 16-May-19 00:16:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Littlegoth Thu 16-May-19 00:17:53

Whoops! Sorry for double post.

SachaStark Thu 16-May-19 00:21:04


As I said, used to be a media teacher. Age ratings from the BBFC are not applicable in educational settings. We had the same discussion with parents every year, as we have to inform them that they must watch the content proscribed by the exam board, whatever the age restrictions.

Ihatehashtags Thu 16-May-19 10:02:24

Get with the program! You know they’ve already watched porn right?

LIttleMissTickles Thu 16-May-19 10:17:55

YANBU, I would not be ok with that.

squirrelspatchcock Thu 16-May-19 10:24:59

Personally, I wouldn't have an issue with it.

sashh Thu 16-May-19 10:55:14

It doesn’t matter that they are watching it with a supervising adult - the supervising adult is breaking the law.

Not true.

Even in a cinema a local authority can overrule the certificate.

SirVixofVixHall Thu 16-May-19 11:01:43

I would not like that either. I think ratings have changed since I was a teenager too, so things that would have been 18 are now 15. I have been shocked by some of the stuff that is a 12, never mind a 15.
Suffragette, for instance, is a 12.
I am really strict on what my dds watch, my eldest is 14, and she has seen some 15 rated things, but only where the rating is for things like swearing, not violence . Kind, gently Detectorists, for example, is a 15, simply because of the occasional swear word.
Dd was shown a CSE film at school depicting rape when she was 11 and was really upset and shocked.

MissPollyHadADolly19 Thu 16-May-19 11:06:44

The pianist is a fantastic film and is great for education.
It wouldn't bother me as they probably watch 10 times worse on their phones with their mates. And it is supervised by an adult too.

outvoid Thu 16-May-19 11:08:43

Was normal in my secondary school years ago. We watched parts of Schindlers List and all of The Pianist.

outvoid Thu 16-May-19 11:09:11

We also visited Auschwitz in year 10 so at 14/15.

user1471590586 Thu 16-May-19 11:10:10

I used to work in a secondary school and I agree with the above poster that is it common for students to watch these films as part of media studies. The school used to send a letter home to inform the parents about it.

DuckWillow Thu 16-May-19 11:11:47

Another precious parent freaking about a cert 15 film when their little darling is probably accessing far worse elsewhere 🙄

DanielRicciardosSmile Thu 16-May-19 11:23:01

It wouldn't bother me to be honest. I think in both English and History, a good film can be a great way of bringing a book or an event to life.

Bookworm4 Thu 16-May-19 11:24:18

Seriously? Does your little angel have internet access? I doubt she's running everythibg by Mummy 🙄
Certification is a guideline, doubt 14 yr olds are being traumatised by a 15 movie.

Areyoufree Thu 16-May-19 11:37:36

The ratings are kind of irrelevant - it depends more on the films. For example, Jaws is a PG, but I wouldn't let my primary school aged kids watch it. I doubt there are many schools that would let teenagers watch something that was genuinely disturbing. However, the kind of books that are read in school can be far more graphic - The Color Purple, Lord of the Flies, Beloved etc. I think it's good to be aware of the types of films and books they are being exposed to - especially if they have questions about them - but I wouldn't worry about them being shown 15 certificate films.

PregnantSea Thu 16-May-19 12:40:17

I wouldn't give it a second thought

Geraniumpink Thu 16-May-19 16:44:49

Alright, thanks all. As it seems to be the usual thing I will just let them get on with it. I was checking because a few of the primary schools I have worked in are very strict about ratings, so I was a bit surprised that it doesn’t apply at secondary.

kalopali Thu 16-May-19 17:11:43

It doesn’t matter that they are watching it with a supervising adult - the supervising adult is breaking the law.

As a parent I can show my 10 year old an 18 cert DVD if I choose. Not that I would, but certainly wouldn’t be breaking the law.

Sandy50 Thu 16-May-19 17:36:37

SirVix Dd was shown a CSE film at school depicting rape when she was 11 and was really upset and shocked.

That's because it's really upsetting and shocking. People should be really upset and shocked about it. And educated, rather than shielded.

ThomasShelbysBunnet Thu 16-May-19 17:40:11

Well, when I was a first year (so maybe just turned 12) our R.E. teacher was spectacularly shit. Pretty sure he just let us watch Terminator most weeks.

Gth1234 Thu 16-May-19 17:42:27

Cert 15 films often have appalling language.

Anyway, schools should not be breaking the law. There are plenty of eminently watchable 12s, PGs and Us. (Are these still the classifications?)

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Thu 16-May-19 17:48:41

Sandy no, CSE films should not be used ever. See Dr Jessica Eaton's work on this subject. Showing an 11 year old a depiction of rape is not educational, FFS.

LolaSmiles Thu 16-May-19 17:49:56

As others have said, schools aren't breaking the law. It's good to exercise professional judgement on what you show and when.

SeamstressfromTreacleMineRoad Thu 16-May-19 17:50:25

Gth1234 Yes, but as the examination papers will have questions on the set texts/films, it won't help the kids much to have watched all those 'suitable' films hmm

JuniperNarni Thu 16-May-19 17:52:55

If you think that a cert 15 film has appalling language and believe that is a reason not to let a 14 year old watch it, then I don't believe you've ever set foot on a school playground. They will have heard it all before.

Geraniumpink Thu 16-May-19 17:55:36

There was no particular reason to be showing a 15 - it was topic work about crime. The other groups watched Spider-Man.

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Thu 16-May-19 17:57:30

FFS. Why on earth are they watching Spider-Man at school?

Dungeondragon15 Thu 16-May-19 17:58:43

I would either trust the schools judgement or watch the film and decide for yourself. Going on the certificate is a bit mindless. Something might be a 15 because it is unsuitable for some 12 year olds. It might be fine for the great majority of 14 year olds.

UCOinanOCG Thu 16-May-19 17:59:46

These are films specifically chosen to complement the coursework, not films they pop on during wet playtime or whatever. The teachers watch with them and they discuss the content and the language etc. It is fine if done appropriately.

Dungeondragon15 Thu 16-May-19 18:02:46

As someone above has mentioned I would worry more about the books they are reading. I remember DD laughing about the fact that a shop prevented her from buying a certificate 15 DVD when she was 17 (she didn't have ID) but they had no problem with her buying 50 shades of grey.

titchy Thu 16-May-19 18:05:06

Anyone read or seen Shakespeare recently? Murder galore, under age sex, weirdos dressing up, supernatural creatures presented as normal, swearing, sexual innuendo. Should be banned from all schools, banned I tell you....

maddy68 Thu 16-May-19 18:05:08

Because it's on the GCSE syllabus the content is the same as in the books.

maddy68 Thu 16-May-19 18:06:27

Schools do not have to comply with the law. It's an opt out for educational purposes

Userplusnumbers Thu 16-May-19 18:09:24

The age rating for a DVD, video or Blu-ray explains which audience we believe the film is suitable for, and applies to point of sale or rental rather than to where the material is viewed. It is not actually illegal for schools to show BBFC-rated videos, DVDs or Blu-rays to its pupils of any age, just as parents may also choose to show any material to children in the home. Merely showing an age-restricted film to underaged persons - or allowing them to see one outside a licensed cinema - is not in itself an offence.

Not breaking the law, and honestly, they're reading the texts as well surely?

flyingspaghettimonster Thu 16-May-19 18:14:34

I don't like them showing these films to younger kids. We were made to watch Schindler's list in year 9 history. It horrified me so much I couldn't properly and ended uo giving up history, a subject I had loved, for geography that didn't interest me at all, because I couldn't handle seeing more films like it. A few years later I watched the movie again and was ready to learn about the subject properly, but at 13 I was not. No reason those things can't be studied later on, in year 11.

FunkyKingston Thu 16-May-19 18:15:23

YANBU - they should only be ahowing them 18 certificates. How will they appreciate say, Tolkien's work if they've not seen Lord of the G Strings with Dildo Baggins the Throbit.

clairemcnam Thu 16-May-19 18:18:59

When I studied these texts at school, we did not usually see them on film. We just read and studied the book. So why do they need to see the film?

HomeMadeMadness Thu 16-May-19 18:24:25

I think you'd have to have an incredibly sensitive DC for this kind of film to pose an issue for them - since you know in advance you could always remove your DC from the class if that was the case. I would only do this if I had a very good reason though. I very much doubt this will be the worse they've seen at that age.

ForalltheSaints Thu 16-May-19 18:45:33

As long as you are advised and have the option of withdrawal of your child, I see it as OK.

FishCanFly Thu 16-May-19 19:03:06

YABU and precious

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Thu 16-May-19 19:36:27

God, it’s a wonder how any of us learnt anything without watching all these films.

TeacupDrama Thu 16-May-19 20:10:22

can a parent actually object though?
why are they setting 15 films as texts for under 15 year old children?

Oblomov19 Thu 16-May-19 20:15:44

Why were they watching Spider-Man?

LolaSmiles Thu 16-May-19 20:19:23

God, it’s a wonder how any of us learnt anything without watching all these films.
Gosh it's a wonder we learnt anything, what with teachers now using PowerPoint. We did just fine without it. Calculators too, we did just fine with an abacus.

Randomly watching films or finding tenuous links isn't a good teaching decision, but a well selected use of a clip or watching a performance of the play you're studying is entirely sensible.

PookieDo Thu 16-May-19 20:24:12

I’ve never been too hung up on 15 certs to take away the taboo of it. 18 I say no but tell them why (saying it has sex puts them off)

Saying that I had a stand up row with a cinema bloke who wouldn’t let my 14yo into a 15 cert film - it was historical, relevant and interesting to a GCSE choice and he had no proof she WASNT 15. I wouldn’t usually argue about this but they watch 15’s in school which doesn’t bother me at all

PookieDo Thu 16-May-19 20:25:26

To be fair English GCSE syllabus is Romeo and Juliet. Trust me - Leo Dicaprio will get a lot of teens through that exam paper... it’s not all a waste! (Mine LOVE it)

SirVixofVixHall Thu 16-May-19 20:33:54

Sandy50 no, 11 year old girls should not have to watch stuff like that, she didn’t know what rape was for a start.
Jessica Eaton has now successfully campaigned to get the film my dd was shown banned from schools, because it is traumatising, tries to give the message that there is somehow a way to stop yourself being raped , and is a horrendous thing to show to a class when some girls in that class may be victims of sexual abuse.

pointythings Thu 16-May-19 20:49:06

I think there's a big difference between 11-year-olds and 13/14-year-olds in terms of what they can handle emotionally and what they know.

DD1 watched Schindler's List in school at age 14 as part of the History syllabus - the school notified us and sent us a consent form, we could opt out. I discussed it with DD and she chose not to opt out. The film left her with a lifelong deep interest in history and politics.

Age ratings aren't everything. Both my DDs watched 15 films well before they turned 15, checked by myself and until recently their dad. They've also watched some 18 stuff on Netflix, again subject to my approval. I'm not the 'cool' parent at all, I just like to make decisions on a case by case basis.

AhsokaTano5 Thu 16-May-19 20:57:41

Sorry, YABU. It's not actually against the law to show 15-rated films to underage children at all (only for 14 year olds to buy a 15 DVD or see a 15 film at the cinema). Do you honestly think that children only a year or so below the rating stated will suffer any ill effects from seeing the film?

Also, as amazing as Marvel Comics is, I'm very curious as to why a Year 9 group were watching a Spider-Man movie...

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Thu 16-May-19 21:03:07

SirVix that’s good to hear. Jessica is amazing, a real shero.

pointy Schindler’s List isn’t even an especially accurate adaptation of the book.

I don’t know, I’m sure I’m just an old fuddy duddy but for me it really doesn’t say much about the quality of the teaching if Leonardo di Caprio mangling Shakespeare’s poetry is what’s needed to understand and enjoy Romeo and Juliet. Film adaptations are rarely as good as the original, and even when they are good so much of the book is automatically lost, and at the end of the day the book is what’s meant to be being studied. I mean, sure, tell the kids there’s a film of the book if they want to watch it but why make it part of the actual class?

Geraniumpink Thu 16-May-19 21:10:53

Spider-Man - because they were doing a unit about crime and punishment. Dd’s group got to watch Dead Man Walking instead. They’ve also studied the handmaid’s tale this year (extracts), although they haven’t watched the film. Everything they’ve done this year in English has been about violence. I just don’t think it’s particularly healthy.

Iamnobirdandnonetensnaresme Thu 16-May-19 21:14:11

Our primary showed a 12a to ks2 last year- not a happy bunny

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Thu 16-May-19 21:17:46

That is a tenuous bloody link if ever I saw one. They couldn’t find a single age appropriate text to study that theme? Really?

Sandy50 Thu 16-May-19 21:22:39

SirVix "No" I didn't say she should HAVE to watch it, but that you were stating the bleeding obvious saying it was 'upsetting'. Rape is upsetting. And depictions can be triggering for victims. And of course the whole rape culture and victim blaming we see in society shouldn't be perpetuated. But if your Dd didn't even know what rape was, then she hadn't been educated on it, and I don't agree that it's something children should know nothing about, especially those starting secondary school.

Regardless of the campaign you're referring to (where it's stated that if 1 in 3 adults recall sexual abuse as a child, then 33‰ of a school audience would have already suffered... which isn't statistically accurate, as it wouldn't necessarily have happened before the age they were exposed to the issue, and might be less likely to happen as a result of better knowledge of risks!), knowing the dangers is of the utmost importance; not because children have the responsibility to prevent abuse, but to learn about the world, including having empathy for and demonstrating the right treatment of others.

You've used words like 'traumatising' and 'horrendous' and I can assure you these apply more to the actual experience of being raped than hearing about it. I certainly don't think for a second that anyone should be blamed for not being able to stop it happening to them, but it is categorically wrong to assert that there is no point in being aware and taking steps to be safer than an alternative. Have you never told Dd to stay in a group with others if she can, instead of walking alone? Lock the door at night to prevent strangers getting in? Not your fault if it doesn't stop someone else's behaviour, but still sensible.

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Thu 16-May-19 21:33:19

Absolutely none of that has anything to do with showing CSE films to children.

Sandy50 Thu 16-May-19 21:50:56

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Noooo, education, awareness and understanding had nothing to do wkth using resources designed to achieve these things...

SirVixofVixHall Thu 16-May-19 21:50:57

She didn’t hear about it, the film showed a woman being attacked.
Of course actual rape is worse than viewing an actress playing the part of someone being raped.
That doesn’t alter the fact that seeing a film in school, of a simulated sexual assault, was really distressing for an 11 year old girl.

Sandy50 Thu 16-May-19 21:52:27

Yeah, let's go back a few hours. It is meant to be.

Spudina Thu 16-May-19 21:58:35

I was watching cert 15 and 18 horrors at sleepovers at that age. Some of the best nights of my life!

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Thu 16-May-19 21:59:01

sandy maybe have a read of this

clairemcnam Fri 17-May-19 00:34:17

An 11 year old girl should know what the word rape means though.

Blueemeraldagain Fri 17-May-19 00:55:05

Why make [the book- in this case (Romeo and Juliet?) play] part of the actual class? Because plays are meant to be watched not read! That is very much and entirely the point of plays! Students will lose marks when writing about a play if they refer to a “reader” as plays are not written for readers but for viewers! It would be wonderful if every secondary school had the time/money/staffing/availability to take every KS4 class to see a live and useful version of whichever play they are studying but that is not the reality of education in state secondaries in 2019 and a combination of Baz Luhrman and Zeffirelli does a pretty good job.

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Fri 17-May-19 07:10:55

And the book in question in the OP? Which isn’t a play? Spider-Man???

LolaSmiles Fri 17-May-19 07:29:38

Everything they’ve done this year in English has been about violence. I just don’t think it’s particularly healthy.
Lots of literature is (in differing amounts) about love, sex, heartbreak, conflict, violence, death and every other topic linked in some way to human suffering.

Spiderman and crime and punishment sounds like a tenuous link and not a good teaching decision to me, but I think you'll need to chill out a bit on the whole.

Storkbloom Fri 17-May-19 07:33:48

We watched Schindlers List in English

Storkbloom Fri 17-May-19 07:37:55

mean, sure, tell the kids there’s a film of the book if they want to watch it but why make it part of the actual

Most in my English class hated Shakespeare. They found it boring. I think showing the film will get some of the less interested kids interested. Sure, a play will get some of them, but a lot of students do not watch plays and would never go to a theatre. What is wrong with trying to make the material in some way accessible to the ones who shun Shakespeare/theatre?

PookieDo Fri 17-May-19 07:40:58

My DD’s love the Baz Lurman version
Totally agree it’s to watch not to READ. It’s a play...
So they would have learnt about it anyway but as an additional bonus they also got to see a very dramatic, exciting version of R&J which is one of their favourite films. All performed in Shakespearean language. What is not to like about that?

PookieDo Fri 17-May-19 07:42:43

On another note neither want to go see The Sign of Four at the local theatre

But DD1 did eventually get into Inspector Calls. With effort. They played Sherlock to them and she really liked that

GoodbyeBlueMonday Fri 17-May-19 07:47:50

My English teacher showed us Roman Polanski's Macbeth when we were 13/14. Everybody just laughed at the nudie bits. Looking back, she was always a bit subversive, but as far as I am aware no one was scarred for life. It was a bit of a rough school right enough. I don't think it is majorly inappropriate if it does have some educational value.

DanielRicciardosSmile Fri 17-May-19 12:15:04

@GoodbyeBlueMonday our English teacher did the same (on an old Betamax iirc). We thought it was hilarious, I particularly remember the viewpoint of the severed head as a highlight of the film. DS is doing Macbeth for GCSE - wonder if I should track down a copy? wink

Geraniumpink Fri 17-May-19 18:08:30

They weren’t studying a book. They were looking at various serial killers. I think it was a non- fiction unit. They are moving on to poetry about the homeless after half-term.

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Fri 17-May-19 19:39:50

No non-fiction books to look at then?

Sorry, but this sounds like nonsense. English as a subject is about the written language. Study films in Film Studies. If anyone’s ever actually needs to study Spider-Man, which I doubt.

LolaSmiles Fri 17-May-19 19:54:45

In that case OP the film choice is totally inappropriate.

There are many justifiable reasons to use film. That's not it though.

Poetry about homelessness sounds like another vague and pointless unit with almost no good texts. In fact, I can probably predict what film they'll shoehorn into that topic too.

I'll be honest, that extra bit of information makes me think that's a department not making good decisions.

LadyRannaldini Sat 18-May-19 16:58:22

They will have heard it all before.

Or read it on MN!

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