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Atheism, Sex-Heavy Movies in Our Schools?

Our continuing look back at 2012 in Darien and Woodridge brings back the issues of sex in movies being shown in school and an atheist speaker at another school.

A lot of times, parents in the suburbs say they enjoy living where they do because of the schools.

But what about when the schools invite atheists and show movies that include sexual scenes? 

This year, in school districts 99 and 86, people spoke out against various viewpoints that were being allowed in local schools. It's part of our top story series of the 2012 Year in Review.

Controversy Over Atheist Speaker Spurs Discussion of District 99 Parent Notification Procedures

District 99 school officials received hundreds of emails last month about Downers Grove North's Constitution Week speaker Jessica Ahlquist, a Rhode Island teen who sued her school to have a prayer removed from the gymnasium wall.

Soon after Ahlquist's appearance at North High, district administrators and board members were flooded with hundreds of emails, most of which were from people far outside Downers Grove, according to District 99 Communications Director Jill Browning. However, they were also contacted by several parents of students in the district, who questioned why they weren't notified of the visit.

D86 Parent Appealing Superintendent's Ruling on Objection to Sex-Heavy Movies

Meanwhile, two of the most critically acclaimed movies of the last 15 years became a topic of debate in District 86 for what one parent called "sex-heavy" scenes: American Beauty and Brokeback Mountain.  

Victor Casini, the Hinsdale South parent who filed the first District 86 curriculum objection in at least eight years, appealed the decision made by the district, which concluded that all district policies were followed by the course's teacher and department when the movies were showed in a high school film class. 

Russ January 01, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Albert - I think that was part of the issue, were the parents and kids given a choice? Just as you have chosen not to see Brokeback Mountain, was there an option not to see this? There's a fine line between indoctrination and education. I'm all for keeping an open mind and exploring options, but is that what really happened? What if the school decided to watch "The Passion of the Christ" or the "Innocence of Muslims"? Would the school (and you) be as understanding and keep an open mind? The two concerns are (in my view); Was there an option to not attend these activities? Was there truly "learning" taking place with a discussion that it is perfectly acceptable to not accept these ideas?
Red Murray January 03, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Maybe if you can't shut us atheists up you just might actually listen to us, and learn. Peace through atheism! Keep it real, brothers and sisters.
Russ January 03, 2013 at 09:29 PM
So much for keeping an open mind...
Glei Robson de Jesus Botelho January 04, 2013 at 10:08 PM
until somebody prove me wrong, I dont think there is a god, that is my belief
Tkmlac January 24, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Jessica Ahlquist's story isn't even necessarily atheistic. Her story would still fit and ring true if she were a Muslim, a Hindu, a Pagan, a Buddhist, or even a Christian if the prayer had originated in Islam. Secularism=/=Atheism. Cue sarcastic rant: And boy, don't let kids discuss movies like American Beauty and Brokeback Mountain because NUDITY!!! Let's concentrate on that red herring instead of appreciate the issues that the movies raise about sexuality, relationships and gender roles. /sarcasm.

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