You must be warned: Seeing gay cowboys can be very, very dangerous to your health. The Chicago Board of Education has been named in a lawsuit last Friday because a substitute teacher showed an 8th grade class Brokeback Mountain last year. The 12-year-old girl and her grandparents are looking for approximately $500,000 in damages because the girl suffered "psychological distress" upon viewing the Oscar-winning film. According to the girl's father, Kenneth Richardson: "It is very important to me that my children not be exposed to this. The teacher knew she was not supposed to do this."

Apparently the substitute, Ms. Buford, shut the door to the class when screening the film, saying: "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class." When she closed the kids in and let the film air, Richardson claims that his young granddaughter was traumatized to the point that she had to undergo psychological treatment and counseling. (And to think the most troubling thing I ever had to see from a substitute teacher were some icky bikini pictures from one of her summer vacations.) This is the second round of complaints from the family, who previously objected to curse words in reading material: "This was the last straw. I feel the lawsuit was necessary because of the warning I had already given them on the literature they were giving out to children to read. I told them it was against our faith."

So, this is more of a religious thing than a question of over-all suitability. Personally, I'm surprised that any of the kids could stay awake long enough to get to the risque scenes, after all the picturesque time in the rolling countryside. While it was definitely a questionable move for Ms. Buford, I'm thinking that the Richardsons better get their grandkid some blinders. If some telling, but not graphic, scenes result in psychological instability, the world is going to drive her crazy in no time. Or, is this a Saved! situation?
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical