White Superintendent Bans Alabama High School History Club From Seeing ‘Selma’ (VIDEO)

A high school history club in Alabama was supposed to watch history come to life in the movie theater, but their white superintendent banned them from seeing Selma because he is supposedly concerned about profanity.

Selma depicts one of the key events of the civil rights movement. The film follows such icons as Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Hosea Williams, and James Bevel as they marched from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 in the fight for voting rights in the Jim Crow South.

Naturally, the DeKalb County school history club wanted to watch the civil rights drama as a group, but their plan was shut down by superintendent Hugh Taylor. Taylor decided to ban the club from seeing the film because he objects to the use of “racial profanity.” You know, because people supposedly don’t say bad words like that in real life.

Of course, Taylor’s decision to ban the trip has raised the ire of many parents in the community who suspect Taylor is objecting to more than just the foul language in the film.

Reverend James Stanton is an African-American. He’s also the parent of one of the seniors in the history club. After being informed of the superintendent’s decision, he spoke out. He believes Taylor is more interested in keeping students from learning about a major historical event that is important African-Americans.

“It raises my curiosity as to whether something that they are not wanting exposed or the children not to know about,” Stanton told WAFF. “I don’t believe it is just about the profanity.”

Stanton’s voice on this issue is particularly important since he lived through the events of Selma in 1965 as a 20-year-old man. But Taylor is sticking by his decision, saying that teachers shouldn’t have to play the role of parent. Of course, that assertion is pure bullshit since teachers literally see kids more than most parents do.

Here’s the video via Raw Story.

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I remember watching Saving Private Ryan in my American history class when I was in high school. Just the opening scene alone blows Selma out of the water in terms of appropriateness for teens. The war film has an R rating and the parents guide to the film on IMDB explains the profanity used in it.

Explicit profanity in the film is used to create proper ambiance and “battlefield chatter.” Four letter words are used frequently and throughout the entire duration of the film. 22 F-words. Also, some of the characters refer to the Nazi soldiers as “Krauts” which is a derogatory term for people of German origin, particularly German soldiers.

Now, here’s how IMDB describes the profanity used in Selma, which is rated PG-13.

Infrequent use of words (except for racial slurs) including “s–,” “bulls–t,” “ass,” and “goddamn.” Much more frequent use of the “N” word and more. 2 uses of the F word.

The fact is, real human beings use profanity, even teenagers. The use of the N-word is the film is historically accurate and is unfortunately still a word used in a derogatory manner toward African-Americans. Banning the school history club from seeing it is outrageous. The simple solution would have been to require permission forms signed by parents. But when you’re the white superintendent of a predominantly minority school while your own kids attend a Christian private school, apparently solutions don’t matter much as long as you make sure kids are prevented from learning about an era of history that many conservatives despise. Personally, I hope Taylor’s decision isn’t about him being a closet racist and that he really believes he is protecting his students. But if protecting the teens from profanity is truly his intention, Taylor needs to grow up and face reality.

Teenagers can handle profanity, especially if the profanity is historically accurate and adds to the portrayal of real life people who lived during real life events. It’s not like high school students have never heard or even used profanity before. We live in the Internet age for crying out loud. Everyone knows about the N-word and what it means. The reality is that people use profanity and real life isn’t the fantasy land that adults want their children to think it is. If kids are going to truly understand history and the people who lived through it, they need to understand that history isn’t the sugarcoated version they read about in their textbooks. They need to understand that our historical figures had faults and that they were flawed human beings like the rest of us. And the best way to understand that is to allow them to watch films like Saving Private Ryan and Selma instead of hiding the truth from them.

Featured Image courtesy of Selma Movie Facebook page.