FEBRUARY 9, 1959
MADISON, Wis.—On February 16 the PTA Council of Beverly Hills, California, under the presidency of Mrs. Aubrey Schenck, will present a rather unusual panel on the touchy subject of violence in TV films shown to children. The panel is a cross-section of the entertainment industry and will include Bette Davis, Rod Sterling, Alan Livingston, Hal Humphrey and Lewis Meltzer. The subject for discussion is: "Parents—Are you aware of the TV shows your children are viewing?"
Members of this PTA group have been told that from 6 to 9 p.m. children view shows saturated with "sadism and bruality causing a tremendous increase in volume and violence in juvenile crime throughout the U. S., according to the American Bar Association and American Medical Association." This group felt the need of more understanding on the part of parents and the public in general to bring about a change in the type of film shown at a time when many children are free to watch them.
Broadcasting companies put on what they think the public wants to see. It is therefore the responsibility of the public as to what they allow their children to watch, and what they themselves want to see. I think this PTA council should be congratulated on what it is doing, and I hope many others will be encouraged to take similar action. We can have an effect on what is shown, both in films and on TV, if we act through our organizations and make our feelings known.
Teachers in New York City's evening high schools have resigned because their demands for a higher salary have not been met. They are now being paid $12.25 per night—which becomes only $9.75 after Federal taxes are deducted—for four classes of teaching. In 1932 they received $10 a night, tax free. Obviously, their present scale would seem rather inadequate compensation, and it looks as though the superintendent of schools agrees with them. Nevertheless, the effort will have to be made to keep classes going. If these are permanently closed, some of the students would be unable to graduate. As usual, however, no money is available to meet the teachers' demands. Some time or other the question of adequate pay for teachers will have to be faced in every classroom, and I hope it will be faced soon.
That was an interesting statement made by General Franco in reply to the monarchists who have been trying to persuade him to restore Don Juan to the Spanish throne. Franco stated that Spain is a monarchy, that he is the ruler of the nation and will remain so until his death, when there will be either a king or a regent. This shows an amount of confidence in an unchangeable future which is rarely justified by the way things actually turn out in human affairs.