Edited For Educational Uses

The first semester of my U.S. History class is rapidly coming to an end. We just finished the Civil War and Reconstruction unit. Because the unit ended yesterday with their assessment, and because Thanksgiving break starts Friday, I felt like this was a good time to sneak in the infamous movie Glory. Having taught at other schools before coming to Collins Hill I have seen numerous procedures for getting supplemental materials approved for classes. So I was not entirely surprised when I checked out Glory this morning and saw on the cover of the VHS (yes I know) case a sticker that said, “Edited For Educational Uses.”

From what I can tell, “Edited For Educational Uses” implies that some bloody war scenes have been cut as well as foul language. Although I understand the implications of showing movies to young students and that parents should have a right to dictate what their child watches, I cannot help but feel that editing films such as this are counterproductive to what  one can learn from the movie. For example, part of what is edited out of Glory, are some the uses of the word “nigger,” as well as certain vulgar mud white soldiers sling at their black counterparts. To me, editing out this material is the same as editing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. So tell me, what do you think about editing films for educational purposes?


  1. There’s no reason this film should have been edited; the language in it is likely no worse than the kids hear every day. Same for the violence, it’s no more gory than in any number of video games. But the film is rated R, and undoubtedly there are plenty of parents who will sh1t themselves over the prospect of showing anything over a PG in class. Others, no doubt, would use the R rating as an excuse to object to the showing of Glory when they actually object to any film that positively depicts Union troops or USCTs, period.

    So, as a practical thing may be a case of choice between showing “Edited For Educational Uses” and not showing it at all.

    Still, whatever the edits are, it’s better than what my kid had to endure at the end of the year, when the teacher was completely burned out and exhausted: sitting through all eleventy-seven hours of the G-rated Gone with the Wind.

    • Gone With the Wing? Brutal.

      I don’t know if I could show that one.

      I do agree with you Andy. I thought about giving out permission slips for the “R” rated version but I heard that it did not go well for other teachers so I opted for the “clean” version.

      • The rating system is badly flawed. First, it’s an inside-industry group whose membership and deliberations are secret. There’s no statutory requirement for directors to submit their films for rating, but very few mainstream theaters will show an unrated film (or one that’s rated NC-17), regardless of the reasons for that rating.

        One recent film that illustrates the problem was the R-rated The King’s Speech. There was no nudity, no sex, no serious physical violence, but there was a lot of drinking, chain-smoking and some (very funny, in context) vulgar language. So it got an R rating, same as Nine 1/2 Weeks or Basic Instinct or Saw 3D which, whatever their other merits might be, were rather different in content.

        Of course, the good folks doing the rating are concerned about impressionable young minds, but exactly how many tweens did they think were planning their weekend around seeing The King’s Speech, anyway?

    • I’d like to add, I’ve attempted to get Last of the Mohicans approved as well for its depiction of the frontier and other elements. This was also shot down for being Rated – R. There are no education edits of it that I am aware of.

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