Thursday, January 23, 2020
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Now playing at an L.A. school near you

The Los Angeles Times rounded up a list of the movies many of the students who actually go to school during the teaches’ strike are watching, but the paper wasn’t able to find a single parent (or child, really) who was enjoying the fact that their school auditorium had been turned into a crowded movie theater.

Yes, it was reported that the above film, Fast and Furious (2001), has been shown in schools. It was filmed in Los Angeles and about crime in that city, but it’s rated PG-13 for some action and lots of dangerous car driving. And I don’t need to go into details about the plot.

Some of the movies being shown to kids during the strike have educational value, such as biopics or nature films. But even some of those have wild animals tearing up their prey.

Other movies reportedly playing in L.A. schools

  • Big Hero 6
  • Black Panther
  • Braveheart
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Chicken Little
  • Coco
  • Finding Nemo
  • Ghostbusters
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Hidden Figures

  • Ice Age
  • Lincoln
  • Selma
  • Sing
  • Tangled
  • The Boss Baby
  • The Hate U Give
  • Train to Busan
  • Trolls
  • Wonder

And while kids love movies—our robotic scan of student news sites around the nation has found more movie reviews than any other category of story—they also know that’s not what schools are for. Moreover, the seating is uncomfortable, given the small number of adults who are able to supervise the children, a number comprised mainly of substitute teachers and non-certified personnel.

“Nobody was paying attention to the movie,” the Times quoted one student as saying. “There was just one person in the gym with us. I didn’t recognize her. She wasn’t an actual teacher. She just came up and put on the movie.”

Following the one movie, the student said, that non-teacher played Disney shorts until the bell rang at 2:45. He says he didn’t go to the school on the second day of the strike.

Some parents have said they’d rather send their kids to a public library to study for important AP exams coming up in a few months, while others prefer places like the Natural History Museum, which is providing free admission for LA USD students during the strike.

(Side note: On the big screen at the Natural History Museum are Oceans 3D: Our Blue Planet and Incredible Predators 3D. If that’s more to your liking, public transit is providing free rides for students during the strike. Several other attractions around the city are also free for students during the strike if you’d rather do something besides watch a movie.)

Teachers will be back at the negotiating table Thursday in an attempt to end the strike. In the meantime, “See you at the movies.” (Roger Ebert)

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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