talent, it fails to break the stereotype of a parent who can see beyond
his aspirations for his son to support the teacher and his son’s dreams.
Portraying a positive relationship between a supportive father and a
drama teacher would have pushed the plot forward by displaying the
positive messages of what an unlikely team could accomplish with
compromise and coordination. I am proud of Disney for making strides
in recent years to promote positive images of acceptance for children; I
am forced to wonder, however, how influential the message is when it
still portrays a father in conflict with a school drama teacher.
Dangerous Minds
This biopic depicts an ex-marine diving into a new teaching
career in a title five school. This sets up many potential obstacles in
Dangerous Minds for LouAnne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer), including
conflicts with the parents of her students. The parent-teacher conflicts
in this movie are used to add drama to the plot and express many of the
real issues teachers in impoverished schools must confront. This movie
does a great job of presenting a teacher beating all odds but,
unfortunately, relies on sub-plots of the predictable conflicts between
parents and teachers to push the plot forward.
One of the major points of conflict between Johnson and a
parent ensues when she does a home visit to see why two of her
students have not been in class the past few days. Approaching them
with humor by suggesting that she thought “they may have been lost,”
Johnson quickly changes her demeanor as the boy’s mom emerges from
the house and changes the scene’s tone in a matter of seconds. Greeting
Johnson by the name of “white bitch,” it is clear she is not a supporter
of Johnson’s mission. The infuriated mother goes on to explain how
Johnson does not understand the lives of her boys and needs to stop
wasting their time with poetry and other lessons. The scene between
the mother and Johnson quickly demolishes any attempt to portray
teachers and parents working together because the mother is not even
slightly open to anything Johnson has to say. Although this attempt at
a parent-teacher conference does not follow any of the typical
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