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Rated R For Ridiculous

By Amanda Dickman in Arts & Entertainment on May 15, 2007 2:55PM

2007_5_brokeback.jpgAgain with the lawsuits. Twelve-year-old Jessica Turner and her grandparents are suing the Chicago Board of Education for the "psychological distress" that Jessica suffered when Brokeback Mountain was shown in her class at school — $500,000 worth of distress, to be exact.

(For those living under a rock for the past couple of years, the movie features a tortured, secret homosexual romance between two cowboys out on the range and their relationship through the years.)

Apparently a substitute teacher, one "Ms. Buford," made the decision to show the film to an 8th grade class without parental permission. Turner claims that she was so distraught over the film that she had to seek psychiatric help and counseling. Her grandparents (who, in 2005, complained to the school about reading material containing curse words) are outraged that the movie was shown; they are angry that Turner was exposed to the film, stating that it is against their faith.

So many issues, so little time. First and foremost, who in their right mind would show an R-rated film to a classroom full of children that aren't of legal age to see such films in the first place and without parental permission? No one could be that obtuse, could they?

Even as an adult with a pretty damn open mind, we were taken aback at the scene in the tent involving the first awkward, forceful love scene between our two cowboys. It had nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the people involved, it was just the raw, animalistic portrayal of the encounter that got our attention. We can't even imagine how that scene would go over with a room full of pre-teens.

Obviously, if a parent feels that their under-age child is mature enough to see a certain R-rated film, they are legally entitled to let them do so. Or, if kids want to take it upon themselves to sneak into a movie or steal one from their parents' collection, we say go right ahead (face it, we've all done it). And while we fully support some cowboy-on-cowboy lovin', a substitute teacher taking this liberty is absolutely preposterous. Our collective mind is blown.

Image via Daniel Brown.