Banning movies won't stop violence among young people

By Alex Durand
The Sterling Hall School
Toronto, Ontario

Do movies, books and music make kids do violent things? Recent shootings in schools in Canada and the United States have prompted people to wonder who or what is responsible for these tragic deaths. Who can we blame? The parents? Violence in sports or film? Society itself?


The opinion of some people is that the parents should have known about the guns which would
have prevented the death of the twelve students and the teacher in Littleton, Colorado. Did the parents provide their children with guns and know of the shootings before they took place? Are the parents to blame? Is it because the public can't point fingers at anyone else? What about the teachers and the students? Could any of them have prevented the killings?

Many people believe that the shootings were caused by violence in television, movies and sports such as wrestling. Interestingly, this is not a new idea. Plato thought that violence was caused by poems because poems express acting by emotion instead of reason.


The truth is that poverty and family abuse are at the root of more violence than sports and TV. Banning violent movies such as The Matrix, which some people say is similar to the killings, limits free speech and may not stop violence.

Maybe the bombing in Yugoslavia contributed to the shootings. Watching adults kill each other to solve problems may have made the teenagers think they should kill to be heard as well.

This type of incident could happen anywhere at any school and everything possible should be done to stop this from happening again. But banning books, music, television, sport or film is not the answer. Instead, we need to eliminate violence as a solution to our problems in society, whether that is in Yugoslavia, in the family, or at school.

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the Grade 6 Shark Stop Star,
the school newspaper at the Sterling Hall School in Toronto.