During Monday’s Okaloosa County School Board meeting, the mother of a Niceville High School student spoke to the board regarding what she described as a “very inappropriate” movie that was shown in her daughter’s classical studies class 2 weeks ago.
- According to the mother, the movie was Alexander (2004), starring Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie and Val Kilmer.
The mother stated that she contacted Niceville’s Principal, Charlie Marello, and informed him that it is an R-rated movie that features “explicit material.” She says that Mr. Marello assured her that Alexander was not on the approved movie list that teachers can use in their curriculum, and would be addressing the teacher.
Following the conversation with Mr. Marello, the mother then described what he daughter told her about the next day at school.
- “My daughter came home from school that day and she asked if I had contacted the principal. I said, yes, and I asked her why. She said her teacher stood at the door when she went into class that day and asked each student if they were the ones that had talked to their parents about the content of the movie.”
According to her daughter, the teacher then proceeded to tell the students that the class is a college level course, and that “they should be fine with watching the material that she presented.”
“My daughter’s 15. I have never seen a rated-R movie with male genitalia, not just the backside,” said the mother to the board. “I watched the movie last night. There’s rape scenes in the movie. There’s domestic violence. There is a gang rape of a young boy in the movie. There is an inappropriate kiss between a mother and her son, and I’ve printed out screenshots of the pictures.”
The mother states that nowhere in her daughter’s course curriculum does it say that Alexander would be watched. She also says that she was not asked to give permission for her daughter to watch the film.
Okaloosa Superintendent of Schools Marcus Chambers address the board following the comments and said that he found out about the incident on Monday. He said that he did speak with the Principal Marello.
“It is something that we are looking into and absolutely understand the concern,” he said. “We do have policy in place for this very thing. Anything that is outside of the curriculum; whether it’s a novel, whether it’s a speaker or whether it’s a movie, there is paperwork that has to be filled out. We will be looking to see whether or not that occurred.”
In October 2020, the book “White Fragility” was pulled from a Choctaw High School English class after determined that the book was was not included in last year’s approved reading list for the Choctaw English Department.
Rotten Tomatoes gave Alexander a 16% rating.