Should LCJSMS students be able to watch R-rated movies? Should students be able to watch television shows like Jersey Shore?

"Only 8th graders should watch R-rated movies - with parental permission,” Sophie R. said. “My mom will let me watch an R-rated movie if she has already seen it first," said Ellie R. "Watching R-rated movies will definitely change a person’s behavior. It will change the way you think, and the way you act."

Alexis G., an 8th grader at LJCSMS, said that it is okay to watch shows like Jersey Shore, Jerseylicious, and Housewives of New Jersey because it's entertainment, and is almost an example of what not to do with your life. "Shows like Jersey Shore are stupid," Sophie said. "Teens are smart enough to make their own decisions." Alexis added  "Elementary school students should definitely not watch these inappropriate shows, but middle schoolers are responsible to watch these shows."    

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Cecily S. said that 7th and 8th graders should watch R-rated movies whenever they want because they are old enough to handle the information being provided through these movies, but 6th graders are too young to watch R-rated movies. "R-rated movies can include inappropriate things such as drinking, partying, and doing drugs, and could influence the people who are watching to do the same." Cecily said. "Seventh and 8th graders are old enough to understand that drinking, partying, and doing drugs are extremely serious and dangerous, and things that nobody should ever do, but 6th graders might not realize that. Sixth graders could be persuaded to do the same inappropriate things that characters do from R-rated movies. This can be extremely dangerous because watching R-rated movies could persuade 6th graders to drink, party, and do drugs."

Shows like Jersey Shore, Jerseylicious, and Housewives of New Jersey, can be funny and entertaining, but should students be watching them? Ellie R. said, "Such TV shows will definitely change a student's behavior, and will also change the way you act and think." Sophie added, "The way that these characters act are very inappropriate and can be damaging to children's minds.  Again, 6th graders should not be watching these types of shows."  Cecily said, "Eighth graders that watch shows like Jersey Shore, Jerseylicious, and House Wives of New Jersey, should have parental supervision, and guidance while watching these shows."

Science Daily, a website with some of the latest research news said, "R-rated movies portray violence and other behaviors deemed inappropriate for children under 17 years of age." Science Daily suggests that students who watch R-rated movies have more of a chance to start drinking at a young age. "R-rated movies not only contain scenes of alcohol use that prompt adolescents to drink, they also jack up the sensation-seeking tendency, which makes adolescents more prone to engage in all sorts of risky behaviors," James D. Sargent said.  "The message to parents is clear. Take the movie ratings literally. Under 17 should not be permitted to see R-rated movies. "Overall students who watch R-rated movies are more likely to drink, and do illegal things," Sargent said.