Gransnet forums


To be angry that a 12A certificate film is shown to primary children in school

(102 Posts)
Mishap Sat 24-Nov-12 12:48:51

My GS has been having nightmares and is dreadfully distressed by having been shown the film Warhorse at school. He is 9 years old and the film is a cert 12A.

My DD has been dealing with his distress and with a raft of questions about war and why it happens - his faith in adults has been shattered and he is very insecure after this.

My view is that this sort of material about man's inhumanity to man is a relevant subject in secondary school (maybe aged 13 to 14) and that foisting these horrors on such young children is unacceptable. Am I being over-protective?

The irony is that my DD does allow her children to watch things that I do not think are suitable, but she is incensed about this - they had no opportunity to veto their child seeing this in school.

I would have been furious if it had been my child and the school would have received a visit from me.

jO5 Sat 24-Nov-12 22:33:14

My grandson is in the last year of primary school and they are 'doing' the second world war at the moment.

His mum read him War Horse about a year ago and it caught his imagination.

Could you take him to see the stage version? He was rather dropped in at the deep end by starting off with the film. Why couldn't the teacher have read them the book? But I think now Mum and Dad need to try to tone down what he is feeling by putting the better versions of it before him. I wouldn't leave him upset and frightened.

annodomini Sat 24-Nov-12 22:42:12

The ‘12A’ category exists only for cinema films. No one younger than 12 may see a ‘12A’ film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult, and films classified ‘12A’ are not recommended for a child below 12. An adult may take a younger child if, in their judgement, the film is suitable for that particular child. In such circumstances, responsibility for allowing a child under 12 to view lies with the accompanying adult.

All of which should have been perfectly clear to the teacher and the head teacher.

Nanadog Sat 24-Nov-12 23:47:42

I have chosen not to see this amazing film myself because of the violence and horrors it depicts. I know it would upset me too much even though I have read the excellent book. As a retired primary school teacher I would never consider showing this to a child of his age. The deed is done now. Can I suggest that your DD buys or rents some suitable home videos of a gentler nature, or something light and amusing to try to override the one which caused him distress. Has he seen the new Ice Age 4 or one of those awful 'Buddies' films, about a talking litter of Labrador puppies and their adventures. Anything to take his mind off Warhorse.

NannaB Sun 25-Nov-12 08:23:02

At the school I worked in, this would not have happened. We did not do anything without written consent from Parents.

Deedaa Sun 25-Nov-12 15:39:07

How nice to know that children are still being shown classic strories vampirequeen and who better than Patrick Stewart as an example of how to speak English. I remember watching the Edith Evans Importance of being Earnest with my daughter who was about 8. It came as a complete revelation to her that there were things that you have to really listen too, but the more you concentrate the more you get out of it. Prior to that she had treated films and TV as moving wallpaper. I hope there is still time in schools for proper discussions. The films don't just need to be age appropriate they need to be talked about.

vampirequeen Mon 26-Nov-12 09:31:11

One of my boys had very challenging behaviour. He spent all his time playing violent computer games and watching the most unsuitable films and tv programmes. I wasn't sure how he'd take to it but he enjoyed it more than any of them. He was totally inspired by it and did the best work I'd ever had from him. He even asked to borrow the DVD so he could watch it with his mum. By coincidence that weekend it was shown on TV. On the Monday his mum came to see me to tell me how much they'd all enjoyed it and that it was something they'd never have watched because it was 'too posh' and 'would be f***ing boring'. She said it was hard at first because you had to 'stay sat down and watch it' because if you didn't you would miss something. She was amazed that her son had sat still for the whole film....something that she thought he was incapable of doing.

Deedaa Mon 26-Nov-12 22:39:24

So many children seem to be condemned by other peoples' low expectations of them - and not just children either. Years ago my husband asked me what I was watching and I said "Oh you won't want to watch this, it's The Browning Version" Just to prove me wrong he stayed and watched and thoroughly enjoyed it, in spite of the lack of shootings and car chases. But then he'd been written off by his teachers when he was very young although you only need to see his children and grandson to realise that he's certainly not stupid. I'd like to see children exposed to as wide a variety of books,plays and music as possible - I think lack of imagination is an awful thing and so many adults seem to see it as an asset.

Nanban Tue 27-Nov-12 10:26:20

I am going to use that completely hated phrase - in my day - sorry but relevant - in my day parents were only seen, and their input only warranted on open days, sports days and christmas plays. Now it seems just about everyone wants to put their two pennyworth in and the poor beleagured teachers simply cannot react to every requirement. Maybe the 9-year old needs a little more exposure to be able to cope better. He will see worse things on TV and the news, let alone what happens in the playground.

nightowl Tue 27-Nov-12 10:33:45

On the other hand Nanban, in our day teachers were allowed to hit children, throw blackboard rubbers at them, make them take freezing cold showers etc. I do think it should be common sense that if a film with a 12+ classification is to be shown to a group of 9/ 10 year olds, parents should be consulted.

Mishap Tue 27-Nov-12 10:56:35

I don't think that consulting parents should even arise - the film is 12A, there are no children in a primary school aged 12, so it should not even be considered for showing. What do they think the film certification system is for?

Ana Tue 27-Nov-12 10:59:17

I agree, nightowl. Nanban, I think nine years old is a little young to be deemed in need of more exposure to be able to cope better. As for TV and the playground, they don't have the same impact as a full-length film with graphic scenes and a booming soundtrack!

annodomini Tue 27-Nov-12 11:21:02

Mishap, if a parent wanted to take a child to this film at the cinema, they would be within their rights. In my post - Sat 24-Nov-12 22:42:12 - I quote the regulations. In fact, 12A is a classification for cinema, not for home video though it seems to me to be a fair guideline of what is suitable - or not.

vampirequeen Tue 27-Nov-12 11:40:41

I don't think every 12A should be banned. If that was the case I wouldn't have been able to introduce my group to A Christmas Carol but common sense has to prevail.

Nanban Tue 27-Nov-12 13:21:54

The rules for 12A say: The 12A rating is only used for films shown in cinemas. It is given to films that are best suited to those aged 12 or older. However, people younger than 12 may see a 12A so long as they are accompanied by an adult! In such circumstances, responsibility for allowing a child under 12 to view lies with the accompanying adult.

I never witnessed anything been thrown at school, apart from children chucking stuff at each other, and we even had warm water in the cloakrooms with not a hint of a shower cold or otherwise.

I have an image of the teacher who daily has to deal with outcries from every direction and is doing his/her best to educate the children at the same time.

nightowl Tue 27-Nov-12 15:39:01

We may have been talking from different perspectives Nanban - perhaps you were talking as a teacher whereas by 'our day' I was referring to the time when I was a child. Sad to say, teachers would regularly hit children, especially around the back of the head or sometimes so hard on the legs their knees would buckle. One teacher would often throw the board rubber. This was at primary school where the boys were regularly caned. We had no showers at my secondary school but friends did and I was often told about certain teachers using cold showers 'accidentally'. So I assure you I was not using these examples just for effect. Thank goodness those days have gone.

jO5 Tue 27-Nov-12 15:50:15

Well, as I have said before, my 11 year old grandson, in the last year of primary school, is 'doing' WW2.

WW2 happened. It is history. Recent history. It cannot be conveniently forgotten. History needs to be learned from, so children have to learn it. 9 years isn't that young. He should be able to watch this film without becoming quite so upset. He needs to be helped to understand. It wouldn't do to try to bury this now. It's about being part of the human race. Part of "society" perhaps.

jO5 Tue 27-Nov-12 15:51:25

Help to grow. Don't protect him too much. That won't do him any good.

jO5 Tue 27-Nov-12 15:51:38

him to grow

absentgrana Tue 27-Nov-12 15:57:50

jO5 Children need to learn about all sorts of things but some are hard to grasp, frightening or inappropriate in some other way for some children at a young age and are best kept until the child is a little more mature. Warhorse is not history; it is a film based on a novel based on history. It tugs on the heartstrings, especially for those children with a fondness for animals. It would be perfectly possible to learn quite a lot about World War I without seeing this film and, indeed, without considering the role of animals in particular. In any case, no one can learn about every aspect of every topic all at once.

crimson Tue 27-Nov-12 16:04:51

Nanban; Mrs McCutcheon was obviously not your French teacher. Boy, did I make sure I learned my French verbs! Never saw a board rubber move through the air so fast if you didn't...

jO5 Tue 27-Nov-12 16:09:10

I've been saying WW2 haven't I? hmm

absent I read Black Beauty as a child. That tugs on heartstrings. Didn't do me any harm though.

You can't wrap children in cotton wool. Well, you can but it wouldn't do them any favours.

Ana Tue 27-Nov-12 16:12:59

Have you seen 'Warhorse', jingl?

Nanban Tue 27-Nov-12 16:14:39

thank you JO5 for saying it better than I! I don't speak from a teacher's viewpoint at all, I'm definitely not teacher material because I wouldn't be nearly tolerant enough! And by that I mean tolerant of the constant stream of parents telling me how to do my job when I've most likely spent years doing it well, let alone all the training, constant inspections and tests, and guidelines that have gone into it.

jO5 Tue 27-Nov-12 16:17:16

I've read the book. Not seen the film. Both grandsons did. And I seem to remember they saw the stage version. Their mum has read them the book.

They seem ok.

jO5 Tue 27-Nov-12 16:19:11

It's Stephen Speilberg! That's not going to harm a child.