films about schools. For my research into the subject, I took into
account many movies, but found the strongest cases in the films High
School Musical (2006), Dangerous Minds (1995), Teachers (1984), and School
of Rock (2003). All four of these movies pose different conflicts between
parents and teachers, but each one upholds my thesis with slightly
different approaches. By casting parents in opposition to good teacher
characters in Hollywood films, writers and directors create and repeat
easy narrative conflicts that drive the story forward at a cost.
Unfortunately, establishing a false dichotomy with parents and teachers
always at odds represents a missed opportunity to have them work
together for the improvement of education.
High School Musical
“Keep working left, Troy. You gotta’ guard the championship
game where expected, you’ll torch them.” High School Musical starts off
with a scene featuring student Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) receiving
barked orders from his father, Coach Jack Bolton (Bart Johnson); it
quickly becomes apparent that Troy’s father is highly involved in his
son’s success. As the scene continues with the mother having to beg to
get the father and son out of a basketball practice to celebrate New
Years Eve, it becomes more and more evident that the father’s intense
focus on his son’s basketball career could pose a potential problem.
Eventually coerced out of the gym, Troy attends a party where he is
called on stage to sing karaoke with a girl to whom he is instantly
attracted. The singing flows out of him with such ease, making viewers
wonder if this is a passion he has yet to explore due to his heavy focus
on basketball.
The hint of conflict created in the opening scenes becomes
reality later when viewers find out Troy’s dad also happens to be the
coach of his basketball team. As Troy gets caught using his phone in
music class, he is forced to attend detention where he does set work for
the theater department. Later, his dad storms in to confront the drama
teacher and remind her that his son is a star basketball player and
doesn’t have time to be painting sets. Tensions rise as Troy begins to
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