Teacher shows 'R' rated movie in class as reward; mother furious

Teacher shows 'R' rated movie in class as reward; mother furious »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A mother is furious that her son's sixth-grade teacher showed an "R" rated movie class.

The movie was "Kung Fu Hustle," and Standard Middle School Principal Tonny Gisbertz said it was clearly not appropriate.

Parent Heidi Flook is still outraged.

"I never in a million years thought my son would be watching "R" rated movies in his class, when he should be there learning," she said on Tuesday.

Part of the movie was shown in Caleb Gonzalez' class Friday, according to the mother. Flook said her son spent the weekend with his dad and asked if they could rent the movie so he could see more of it.

When the dad started looking at the movie, he was shocked.

"He said there's a lot of violence, there's some foul language and nudity scenes," Flook said.

Flook said her son was then shown more of the movie on Monday when a substitute was teaching the sixth-grade class. That's the day the mother put in a round of phone calls to the school principal, vice principal and Standard School District superintendent.

Principal Gisbertz called Flook on Monday, and said the situation was being dealt with.

"I'm concerned it's something that we should not be showing in the classroom," Gisbertz told Eyewitness News on Tuesday. "It's clearly inappropriate, and it's something I need to talk to the teacher about, and make sure it didn't happen again."

Gisbertz said action has been taken with the teacher who showed the movie, but he would not be more specific.

"It's a personnel matter, and naturally I can't talk about personnel matters. But I can tell you we dealt with it, and it won't happen again."

Flook is not entirely satisfied.

"I think it's my right as a parent to know what happened to a teacher that chooses to play an 'R' rated movie in front of my son," she said.

The principal also said he will take this issue to the rest of the school staff.

"We're in the process of doing that," he said. "I will remind the staff what the criteria are for showing videos and movies."

Other educators contacted by Eyewitness News said videos and movies shown in the class should be appropriate for instruction, educational in nature, and related to what's being taught.

Gisbertz agreed with that, saying there are appropriate videos or movies that could be shown.

"It's not unusual for a teacher to show a video for something that's related to the curriculum they're teaching."

The principal said this teacher was showing the movie as a reward for academic achievement, but it clearly not the right type of reward. The mother agrees with that, and she takes a wider view of the issue.

"I think it's very important that at the end of the day, parents ask their kids, 'What did you do today?'"

Flook said if parents aren't happy with what they hear, next they need to start asking school officials lots of questions.

"If something like this happens, to hold teachers, and staff, the superintendent -- everyone accountable."

The principal said he's glad this parent did contact the school.

"The key is communication," Gisbertz said.