Rep. Justin Burr, a five-time incumbent to the North Carolina General Assembly who was recently defeated in his primary for another term, has filed a bill in the General Assembly to force local school boards to provide a list of all movies shown in any classroom in the district to the state superintendent’s office.
A man who belongs to a party that prides itself on “smaller government” wants to keep tabs on every video used for instruction even when he has no idea of what using supplementary materials in class involves.
A man who helping enable a budget to be crafted secretly and passed without representation wants to make sure that Raleigh knows what is being displayed on screens in classrooms.
A man who is supporting actions like HB541 that will help pass costs of properly funding schools to local systems now wants the local systems to tell Raleigh how they are spending the money they now must raise on their own.
A man who espouses such conservative views that he would want to add to the already existent checks and balances of each school system that already has guidelines on showing videos.
A man who while in office has not helped to return textbook funding to appropriate levels but wants to spend money to create another government eye on the actions of each classroom.
Or it could be a parting shot against the public school system in what will be his last term for at least two years.
As an English teacher who teaches novels and has a curriculum that asks students to confront social issues, I thought I would go ahead and submit my list of movies that I might want to show students in class to enhance instructional opportunities.
And do not think that I am being sarcastic. It’s just verbal irony, which is a rhetorical term and part of the curriculum. But you may take it satirically because satire is also a term we must explain to students.
- The Kids are Alright – This movie is about two children conceived by artificial insemination bringing the actual biological father into the fold of their family which is headed by two women. Maybe we could use it to explore that marriage amendment the state passed years ago.
- Mask – First, this is just a great movie, but it might help students understand that all students are unique, just like every other student.
- All The King’s Men – This could be used to show how state governments can get to the point that some see it as their little kingdom immune from law. Maybe change Willie Starks’s name to….
- The Road – I would just show this to raise students’ spirits during the long testing season.
- Animal Farm – This Orwellian allegory could help students realize that in a state where “all are equal” under the law, the General Assembly has decided to make some “more equal” than others.
- Pride – It would show the power of protesting even if it is for gay rights.
- Life of Pi – This is a movie that shows strength, resilience, and proves that spirituality and religion can actually be two different things.
- Wall Street – This would help students understand that in Raleigh some politicians run by the mantra that “Greed is good.”
- Harry Potter Series – This would help with students’ study of the original romance language, Latin, since all of all of the spells are spoken in the ancient tongue.
- Lord of the Rings – This would help students understand that “when you put a ring on it,” it really means something.
- The Matrix – Two words: Jungian archetypes.
- Promised Land – Isn’t there some fracking going on in the state?
- Norma Rae – UNIONS!
- Erin Brokovich – This could be shown in the unit that highlights the GenX situation and the Duke Power coal ash case.
- Last of the Mohicans – Well, it was filmed in North Carolina. Maybe the class would understand how the state shunned the movie industry for the last few years.
- Fahrenheit 451 – Since we can’t buy enough books for schools with the budget, this could help show the General Assembly’s aversion for the printed text.
- Napolean Dynamite – This movie could show how having no cuss words in the script can still make a funny movie. Maybe compare and contrast with Deadpool. Look at it as an exercise in the power of diction, imagery, details, language, and syntax.
- Talledega Nights – Racecars! We are in North Carolina.
Someone in Raleigh will have to be watching a lot of movies to ensure that these are acceptable.
Maybe some of that money the NCGA earmarked for Mark Johnson to hire people to do tasks that were already being performed could go to financing a person solely devoted to this task. Actually, I have someone in mind.