Superintendent investigating: Parents complain about R-rated movie shown at Florida school

Education

Warning: Descriptions in this story could be graphic to some readers.

NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — An investigation has begun into why a teacher allegedly showed the R-rated movie, Alexander, to a high school class in Niceville, Fla.

Parents spoke publicly at the Okaloosa County School Board meeting on Sept. 27 that a teacher for the AICE Classical Studies course showed the 2004 film depicting Alexander the Great from Macedonia.

“There are rape scenes in the movie, there’s domestic violence, there is gang rape of a young boy in the movie,” said Cara Marion.

Craig and Cara Marion’s 15-year-old daughter Paige is enrolled in the specialized course.

“We were reading a book about Alexander the Great,” said Paige in an exclusive interview with WKRG News 5. “After we finished the book my teacher introduced the movie to us and said, ‘hey we are going to watch this it is more study material for you guys to do well on your test.'”

Paige said the teacher logged into an Amazon Prime account on her personal laptop and told the students to watch the movie in the hallway.

“Almost 20 minutes into the movie there were several explicit rape scenes,” said Paige.

In a parental guidance review by Commonsensemeida.org they describe the movie as follows:

Parents need to know that this movie has extreme and explicit battle violence with many impalings and other graphic injuries. Alexander is portrayed as bi-sexual. There are very explicit heterosexual sexual situations and references and male and female nudity, plus references and implications of gay sex and some same-sex kissing and a mother-son kiss on the mouth and an attempted rape. Some exotic dancers perform in skimpy attire. Characters drink, sometimes to excess.

Common Sense Media Review

Paige said the movie was shown over the course of multiple class days.

“I went home sick for about two days and watched ahead to stay caught up in class and that’s when I noticed things were really not ok,” said Paige.

Cara Marion said she reached out to the principal on Sept. 17, more than a week before bringing it in front of the school board.

“I contacted the principal after I looked up the review of it and let Mr. Marello know that it was a rated R movie and that there was explicit material in it from what I could read but I had not seen the movie. He assured me it was not on the approved reading list,” said Cara Marion.

Cara Marion at the meeting on Monday said parents never received a form to give the teacher permission to show the movie to students. Cara tells WKRG News 5 if a release had been sent home, they would not have signed it.

“No way, uh uh, no. Everybody I invite anybody to go look on my Facebook page to see the snapshots that I had to edit to put on Facebook so it wouldn’t be censored,” said Cara. “Completely inappropriate. There was no educational value to that movie at all.”

Paige said her teacher later asked each student if they had told their parents about the film being shown in class.

“I said no because I personally didn’t feel like I wanted to be singled out as the one who spoke up and said something,” said Paige. “After that, she immediately said to us that this is a college-level course and we should be mature enough to be watching these things.”

Paige said she was shaken up by the movie but is glad she spoke up about it.

“I am just very happy that it is being addressed properly,” said Paige.

Craig Marion said the movie has no educational value and showing the film was a crime.

“We are talking about distribution of pornography to minors,” said Craig Marion. “First of all, we pay teachers to teach. I don’t pay Oliver Stone to teach my daughter what he thinks history is. We have a curriculum and that’s wrong.”

School Supternintednt Marcus Chambers also spoke at the board meeting. Chambers said he was made aware of the situation that day.

“We do have policy in place for this very thing, anything that is outside the curriculum whether its a novel, whether it’s a speaker or whether its a movie, there is paperwork that is to be filled out that goes through this very matter,” said Chambers. “So we will be looking to see whether or not that occurred. I would assume not, but we will be looking into that.”

According to the 2021-2022 curriculum guide, the AICE Classical Studies course is described as follows:

Cambridge International AS Level Classical Studies provides learners with an understanding of the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome, and an appreciation of the diversity of the Classical world. The syllabus exposes learners to a range of original sources (textual, material archaeological) and develops their abilities to interpret, analyze and evaluate a range of evidence. Students will take the AICE Classical Studies exam in Oct. or Nov.

“This isn’t the only one,” said Craig Marion. “My son has been shown movies that have women dancing around with their tops off. There is a problem, it needs to be solved.”

Since the meeting on Monday, Paige said she has been pulled from her classes multiple times to be interviewed by the principal and the School Resource Officers without her parent’s permission. Due to the rise in attention, Paige went home from school Wednesday and is working on an alternative to complete her school work.

The Marions’ tell WKRG News 5 they have hired an attorney to look into this further.

The Okaloosa County School District sent the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“The school district is conducting a thorough investigation into the situation and will provide an update upon its conclusion.”

You can watch the full school board meeting by clicking here.

More about the movie Alexander:

IMDB rates the movie 5.6 out of 10 stars. Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 16% rating and describes the movie as a historical failure.

Even at nearly three hours long, this ponderous, talky, and emotionally distant biopic fails to illuminate Alexander’s life.

Rotten Tomatoes

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