Thursday, October 11, 2007

British High Court: Schools must tell the inconvenient truth

Stewart Dimmick is only a part-time school official, but he has earned a major personal victory. Dimmick disagreed with the practice of showing Al Gore's film An Inconveient Truth during science classes in British high schools, arguing that this was dishonest and was teaching young students to accept a politically driven agenda as scientific fact.
A UK High Cout judge agreed with Dimmock's assertion, and ruled that while schools may continue to show the film, a disclaimer must be issued first, alerting students to the fact that An Inconvenient Truth promotes "partisan political views" and that the movie should be seen as a political film and not a scientifically valid documentary.
Dimmock wanted the film banned, but is happy nonetheless with the Court's decision.
This was a good decision by the Court. I don't see the harm in letting adolescent students watch An Inconvenient Truth, as long as they are told that the movie contains only a smidgen of science and that the film is largely political propaganda and speculation. The film will allow students to become aware of environmental issues, but the disclaimer will help them make up their own minds instead of taking everything in the film as fact.
As long as students are aware of the political partisanship with which Gore made the film and that it contains several inaccuracies and mistruths—if they are told the truth about An Inconvenient Truth—then I consider the case of showing the film in British high schools solved.

1 comment:

kristen said...

A small victory indeed. Wow. I didn't know that schools in the U.K. were showing it (which makes me wonder about U.S. schools--I'm sure many are doing the same).

I have to wonder though, if the film contains few facts and is mostly fiction....why show it at all? I think people are still hoping to instill a little left-wing agenda in there. Not that it should be 'banned' per se, but most teachers should be wise enough not to show it in the first place. Ok, that's an oxy-moron.