Lucy Slavin of Casa Grande High School

By LUCY SLAVIN
CASA GRANDE HIGH SCHOOL

Recently, my mom told me of a conversation she had with a friend who told her how concerned she was about allowing her 9-year-olds see the film “The Hunger Games.” She explained to my mom that she was upset that the media was exposing her child to emotional anguish, bloody deaths and child murder. Eventually, she made it clear that despite her disapproval, she had let her daughter see this movie. I have read the first two books and seen the movie and I wouldn’t be happy about 9-year-olds seeing it either.

If you aren’t happy about your kid reading a violent and sexually explicit novel or seeing a violent and sexually explicit movie, don’t let them read it, don’t let them see it. It is that simple. The media have way too much control over what we see and believe; the media bring down girls’ self-esteem, make teenage scandal look acceptable and at times accelerate the loss of innocence in children.

But there is only so much the media can do. They cannot force you into seeing a movie that you do not want to see. They cannot force you to believe everything you hear on the news or trust claims made in commercials. They cannot force you to listen to a certain kind of music or watch a specific TV show. We still have free will.

Yes, the media are a horrible influence on children and teens, but that just means others have to be a positive influence. You are not letting the media have all the control if you decide to have a voice also. This is not to say a movie should be censored or a book should have the curse words taken out of it. This is about believing in your own opinions and perceptions and being able to spread them without overpowering the opinions of others.

I do not have a mission to ensure no 10-year-olds are out playing “Grand Theft Auto” or “Call of Duty,” as that is not what actually bothers me. What bothers me is when people believe they have a right to complain about what their kids play, watch or read when the parents are the ones who are in control of that. Parental hypocrites are some of the most annoying people in the world. When I was growing up, “But _______ has one!” or “But _______ saw it!” was not a valid argument, so why does this seem to sway some parents? The parents should not feel guilty for censoring what their kids see or read if the parents believe in that decision.

I am not a parent myself, so I may not seem like a good source for parenting advice, but to me this is not even parenting advice, it is common sense advice. Do what you think is right. Don’t do something you see as wrong and then complain and blame other people or companies later on.