Should Violent Movies be Shown in Schools?: Pro

Katie Hoskins fully supports showing movies in class despite sometimes violent themes.

Julia Govan

Katie Hoskins fully supports showing movies in class despite sometimes violent themes.

Katie Hoskins, Editor-in-Chief

Looking back at my time here at Miramonte, a slew of movies portraying violence come to mind. Over the years I’ve seen a troubled US Marine shoot his commanding officer and then himself in Full Metal Jacket and the Khmer Rouge shoot innocent Cambodians in the Killing Fields, three times over. Not to mention countless other gruesome films.
It’s evident that Miramonte teachers are not shy about bringing out the big guns when it comes to displaying the violence and pain that plagues the outside world in class. And rightfully so. Like any sane human being, the images in such films disturb me on many levels, and I can understand why people feel uncomfortable. But sometimes movies that err on the more disturbing side are necessary to get an important message across to students.
When you compare the violence in classroom movies to that of classroom books, there really isn’t much of a disparity. Take Shakespeare for example. Every year of high school students delve into the Bard’s brawls, swordfights and bloody street battles of plays like Hamlet or even Romeo and Juliet. If books like these are such a vital part of the curriculum, movies that show similar scenes on film should be allowed as well. In both mediums, books and film, the violence depicted is usually not glorified. The gore shown to students always has a purpose relevant to the material students are studying.
Sometimes, the conflict that surrounds violence in this way is necessary to keep students interested. Kids, especially the infamous second semester seniors, can lose focus just listening to a narrator drone on.  Conflict grabs the students’ attention, creating a pathway for learning that can make students think in a way that a teacher lecturing at the board never could.
It’s hard to see humans doing cruel and gruesome things to each other, whether it be in a war or another setting. But the events portrayed also propel me to take action against the injustices I have just seen, and I always leave the classroom feeling empowered to do something about it.
After watching Invisible Children in Melissa Quiter’s freshman history class, I immediately went home, liked the page on Facebook and researched the issue more, which heightened my passion for KONY 2012. This feeling of passion and involvement is especially important for Miramonte’s upperclassman that will soon walk out into a world still full of violence and trouble and should be willing to do something to change future situations.
Violent movies about historical events, like the Holocaust, can also be helpful in understanding what the time period was really like. Reading ink on a page is one way to learn, but it’s much more effective to see it in action and watch people like ourselves shape the history of the world. When the shaping of this history is especially violent and we have trouble understanding why, movies can help by accentuating the human emotions that contributed.
It goes without saying that if a student feels especially uncomfortable with the images in a film they should absolutely be allowed to step out of the room. No one should be forced to experience these things. But the benefits greatly outweigh the discomfort that may be felt, and violent movies should definitely be allowed to be shown in Miramonte’s future.