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Parents, Kids Protest Power Rangers Movie

By Alison D. Overholt

A group of more than fifty outraged parents, teachers and children protested the opening of the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" movie at the Sony Fresh Pond Theaters in Cambridge last Friday.

Carrying signs denouncing the violent content of the new children's movie, the group distributed flyers asking consumers to boycott Power Rangers merchandise and to support non-violent children's entertainment.

The hour-long demonstration began at 3:15 p.m. and consisted of seven speeches given by area teachers and parents, and a ten-year-old girl who was one of 15 children to participate in the protest.

Speakers discussed issues of violence which have entered their classrooms and homes, allegedly because of the violent content of the popular Power Rangers television show.

Kathy Roberts, a teacher at the Dandelion Pre-School in Cambridge and one of the organizers of the protest, said that the Power Rangers show is a topic that continually comes up during parent-faculty meetings.

"At meetings, people talk about it, and actually, children have been so influenced by it," Roberts said. "We decided to make a statement."

Parents and teachers approached students to discuss the violence in the television show, Roberts said, and the resultwas a surprisingly negative reaction to the PowerRangers from children who watch the show.

"When we asked kids what they thought, theysaid 'Down with the Power Rangers.' Many of thesesigns [at the protest] are from the heart--theteachers helped them write them, but the kids cameup with the text."

Signs at the protest written in children'shandwriting read, "Don't go! No Power RangersAllowed!" and "We're not going to the PowerRangers."

Michael W. McCroskey, a teacher at theWashington Beach Pre-School in Boston, also spokeagainst the Power Rangers.

While describing Power Ranger-style battles hehas observed on the playground, McCroskey notedthat play-fighting has sometimes resulted inserious injury to the children involved, includingone injury that required hospitalization.

"These kids aren't seeing the consequences ofthe violence on the show," McCroskey said. "It'snot even close to reality and that's what weshould all be living with."

His point was reinforced by one teenager's signwhich read, "Real or Fantasy? Young Kids Can'tTell."

Ten-year-old Lily Baker of Cambridge also gavea speech on the subject, saying that violenceamong children as a result of the show is veryreal.

"I've heard grown-ups say they saw violenttelevision shows when they were kids, and they'renot violent, but I've seen keds at the playgroundand at school being violent with my own eyes, andusing the same moves as Power Rangers,' Bakersaid.

Protesters base their allegations that theviolence seen on the television show may influencereal-life behavior on a study done by NancyCarlsson-Paige of Lesley College and Diane Levinof Wheelock College. Carlsson-Paige's studyasserts that the Power Ranger show is more than 16times as violent as adult programs.

"[Power Ranger] T.V. episodes average more than100 acts of violence per episode, compared to sixacts on an average adult program," Levin said.

"Not only are the Power Rangers teenage rolemodels who use physical violence to solve everyproblem, but the program channels children intoimitating the fighting scripts and buying toys andreleted products," she said.

Teachers for Removing Unhealthy Children'sEntertainment (T.R.U.C.E.), one of the groupssupporting the protest, also allege that childrencommit seven times as many acts of aggressionafter watching one episode of Power Rangers thanchildren who do not watch the show.

At the protest, T.R.U.C.E. called for a boycottof all Power Rangers merchandise as well as themovie. They also asked that parents who do allowtheir children to view the movie go with theirchildren and discuss the content with the childrenfollowing the film.

The protest closed with a brief sing-along ledby early childhood educator Sandy Pliskin.

"Go away Power Rangers, go away Power Rangers;you shan't have our children," the group sang

"When we asked kids what they thought, theysaid 'Down with the Power Rangers.' Many of thesesigns [at the protest] are from the heart--theteachers helped them write them, but the kids cameup with the text."

Signs at the protest written in children'shandwriting read, "Don't go! No Power RangersAllowed!" and "We're not going to the PowerRangers."

Michael W. McCroskey, a teacher at theWashington Beach Pre-School in Boston, also spokeagainst the Power Rangers.

While describing Power Ranger-style battles hehas observed on the playground, McCroskey notedthat play-fighting has sometimes resulted inserious injury to the children involved, includingone injury that required hospitalization.

"These kids aren't seeing the consequences ofthe violence on the show," McCroskey said. "It'snot even close to reality and that's what weshould all be living with."

His point was reinforced by one teenager's signwhich read, "Real or Fantasy? Young Kids Can'tTell."

Ten-year-old Lily Baker of Cambridge also gavea speech on the subject, saying that violenceamong children as a result of the show is veryreal.

"I've heard grown-ups say they saw violenttelevision shows when they were kids, and they'renot violent, but I've seen keds at the playgroundand at school being violent with my own eyes, andusing the same moves as Power Rangers,' Bakersaid.

Protesters base their allegations that theviolence seen on the television show may influencereal-life behavior on a study done by NancyCarlsson-Paige of Lesley College and Diane Levinof Wheelock College. Carlsson-Paige's studyasserts that the Power Ranger show is more than 16times as violent as adult programs.

"[Power Ranger] T.V. episodes average more than100 acts of violence per episode, compared to sixacts on an average adult program," Levin said.

"Not only are the Power Rangers teenage rolemodels who use physical violence to solve everyproblem, but the program channels children intoimitating the fighting scripts and buying toys andreleted products," she said.

Teachers for Removing Unhealthy Children'sEntertainment (T.R.U.C.E.), one of the groupssupporting the protest, also allege that childrencommit seven times as many acts of aggressionafter watching one episode of Power Rangers thanchildren who do not watch the show.

At the protest, T.R.U.C.E. called for a boycottof all Power Rangers merchandise as well as themovie. They also asked that parents who do allowtheir children to view the movie go with theirchildren and discuss the content with the childrenfollowing the film.

The protest closed with a brief sing-along ledby early childhood educator Sandy Pliskin.

"Go away Power Rangers, go away Power Rangers;you shan't have our children," the group sang

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