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April 06, 2006

Video games

Mike Hendricks, writing about video games, tells us that politicians should not get involved in what we can and cannot buy (3/31, Metro, “Politicians play games, win fame”). He says we know our kids better than politicians do.

He writes: “Just so they don’t forget that, ultimately, it’s we parents who should and ultimately will decide what kind of games, movies and CDs our kids bring into the home.”

The Monday prior, however, Hendricks was writing about the Kansas Board of Education, saying the “opt in” option for sex education was an example of “the kind of backward thinking” he has come to expect from this board. His implication: Parents are too irresponsible and stupid to be trusted with what their kids should be taught.

I wonder what happened in a few short days to elevate parents from bumbling morons to fully responsible and capable adults.

Harold C. Williams
Leavenworth

Comments

Lost_In_Ambivalence

And for Jeff

Don't you think that parents should be allowed to be parents. Every decision the parent makes is something the kid is going to have to live with. But that doesn't me the government should take control.

What if a parent wants to take a job in an area with worse schools than they are currently?
What if a parent wants to quit their job and make considerably less money so they are doing something they enjoy?
What if the parents decide to have another child which might take away resources from the first?
What if the parents decide to get a divorce?

These are all things that drastically affect the child. Where are the other government mandates about what you can do if you have children?

Lost_In_Ambivalence

I have a new beef with the whole sex ed thing.

Most of those on the side of, they are going to do it anyways, fail to mention that teenagers have a remarkably low success rate with contraceptives even with sex ed. The kids that fall into the "they are going to do it anyways" crowd are not likely to be about ready to have sex, realize they don't have a condom and wait until they have bought one. So, my "they are going to do it anyways" position is that they are going to have sex without contraceptives anway, so why bother?

31337

Someone deleted my previous post :-O

Anyhow, like I said, the whole reason / debate behind this is nothing major - only the CONSTITUTION. America stands for freedom. Freedom of the press and freedom of media to make a profit. Freedom from censorship. If Hitler would have won World War II, perhaps we would not have violent video games due to censorship. It sounds almost as if the Bush administration wants to involk a legalized censorship in the U.S.
The fact that so many stores are so... unwilling... to sell Adults Only rated games (most retailers such as Best Buy, Circut City, Walmart, etc... refuse to carry Adults Only rated games). If we start imposing restrictions on ages more than we do now we might as well say "goodbye, constitutional rights". (We are already doing this with the Patriot act, Digital Melinnium Copyright Act, Child Online Protection Act and other laws that are disguised as "saftey measures"). Then whats with that Violence Against Women and Justice Department Reauthorization act that states if you say something bad about someone else online without revealing your identity they can arrest you? Goodbye, first ammendment!

"Hey! Happy 18th birthday! Now, you're old enough to be drafted to Iraq to blast some she-ite's head off and see the blood oooooozing down his shirt and spewing all over the ground, but you cant drink alcohol legally in the U.S. until your 21, or we'll arrest you and your mommy and daddy for buying it for you."

CRD

Good reasoning:

"But there is a direct causal relationship between kids not being properly educated about sex and teen pregnancy, STD's, and HIV.

There is no such provable causal relationship between music/movies/video games and the things a lot of folks try to blame on them. That is why Mr. William's comparison falls apart."

As for Jungle, I have to say, "huh?" I can't imagine that the very first thing taught in a health class that addresses sex, after the mechanics of it all are explained, wouldn't be "ABSTINENCE IS THE ONLY SURE WAY TO PREVENT PREGNANCIES AND STDS."

I'm just not buying the kooky idea that teachers -- who are by and large normal folks like you and me, parents, siblings, aunts and uncles of kids just like the kids they're teaching -- are somehow conspiring to indoctrinate kids into having sex.

Common sense tells me that, yes, any health professionals talking about sex ARE teaching kids that abstinence is the only truly safe sex. Duh.

There's nothing immoral about then going on and saying, "and if people do have sex, the next best thing to abstinence is to use a frickin' condom." That's simply pragmatism. In fact, we might make a pretty strong case that it would be immoral NOT to mention the condom. Seems like too many kids are hearing that "abstinence is the only safe sex," then, when they do as kids do and break the rules, they figure that condom, schmondom, it's not gonna help anyhow, and we end up with babies and STDs. That's ignorance on behalf of the kids caused by stupidity on behalf of adults who campaign against the straight talk the kids needed to hear.

JUNGLEJACK

Jeff H. - I really don't see what all the hubub is about. If I don't want my kid taught sex ed then I would go through the trouble of opting him out - so opt in/ opt out doesn't really matter to me. What bothers me is when people argue that if my teen doesn't sit through the school board approved, amoral classes, that he's automatically going to get an STD or get someone pregnant. By the way... every consequence you mentioned can still occur even if you follow the school sponsored sex ed to the "T". Abstinance is the only "safe" sex, but this is treated by education professionals as a fairy tale because "we all know they're gonna do it anyway". There's nothing wrong with holding your kid to a higher standard.

Jeff H

Sammy,

I don't claim to know what's best for everyone's kids.

But there is a direct causal relationship between kids not being properly educated about sex and teen pregnancy, STD's, and HIV.

There is no such provable causal relationship between music/movies/video games and the things a lot of folks try to blame on them. That is why Mr. William's comparison falls apart.

I know that I personally, as I said, never got "the talk", and looking back there were times that I put myself in extremely risky situations out of sheer ignorance, and I had to live with the results (not my parents, who chose not to talk to me, who put me in private schools where this just wasn't discussed, but me). At the same time, I've played some of those PS2 games where the goal is to see how much damage you can do by crashing into other vehicles and causing a pile-up, but that hasn't driven me to want to do such a thing in real life.

There are things that must be mandated (immunizations, etc) to protect the health of the children/teens. And this is one thing that I believe should be mandated. However, knowing that many others disagree with that stance, I feel it should be at the very least an automatic unless those parents specifically choose to take their teen out of these classes. And then I say let those parents handle the raising of the little surprise that is bound to come along, or the medical expenses of clearing up the bacteria (if he/she is lucky) or of living with the virus (if he/she is not).

Sadly, it most likely won't be those parents who have to deal with the baby/HIV/HPV/Herpes for the rest of their lives (or temporarily the pains of syphilis, gonnorhea, chlamydia, etc, temporary, that is, if they get treated in time), it'll be their children who they chose not to protect by refusing to let the schools properly educate them and by failing to do so themselves, either by choice or just by neglect or not getting around to it. The children will suffer for the decisions or lack there-of made by their parents.

And that is where my problem lies.

Sammy

It's good to know that there are those like Jeff out there who know what's best for our kids.

Jeff H

I guess my only comment here is, playing video games never got anyone pregnant or passed on an STD or HIV.

Add to that, I'd rather parents had to decide to take their teens OUT of sex ed, rather than having them decide to put their child IN sex ed. Too many parents are far too negligent when it comes to such things (mine never did have "the talk" with me), and will just never get around to signing their children up for a class like this. And as I said in the first paragraph, there is far to blatant and assured an outcome to not getting around to signing your child up for Sex Ed, whereas blaming bad behavior on movies, music, and video games is really just more evidence that the parents are looking for an excuse to try to take the blame off of themselves and their children.

 
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