• 70°

Channel One still on

By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER Managing editor
The State Board of Education held a meeting Thursday, and among the items discussed was Channel One. The news channel is broadcast throughout public schools and has been deemed, by some, inappropriate for viewing.
The Channel One newscast has become a hot topic of debate among parents and school systems throughout the state.
While there is a group that is opposed to the channel, one middle school principal does not appear to be jumping on the bandwagon anytime soon. Brewton Middle School Principal Doug Prater has said his school will keep Channel One a part of the daily broadcast.
The news channel runs every morning at 8 a.m. and lasts for 10 minutes at the middle school and includes world and U.S. news events.
However, one particular person who does not see Channel One as a benefit to the school system sent out a news release stating his opposition to the station.
Jere Beasley, a lawyer from Montgomery representing concerned parents and himself, appeared before the State Board of Education in Montgomery on Thursday. Beasley is a former lt. governor of Alabama.
One of the items the board was reviewing was the thirteenth item on the agenda: Accept Statewide Committee to review the state of health of America's youth with particular emphasis on Alabama's Youth Report, and approve development of implementation guidelines.
The board unanimously voted to accept the Health Committee Report Amendment during Thursday's meeting.
Channel One is part of PRIMEDIA Inc., company. Its student Web site states that it is a learning community of 12,000 American middle, junior and high schools representing more than eight million students.
Since its first broadcast in 1990, Channel One has earned more than 150 news and educational programming honors, including the George Foster Peabody Award.
According to the statement made by Beasley, "New York State-Channel One's home base-has banned Channel One from all public school classrooms. That should tell us something."
Some special reports the Web site shows the news has recently broadcast are "The history of the legalization of abortion (Roe v. Wade)", as well as "Your Healthy Body Guide: All you need for a better you".
Moreover, one of the top stories they have broadcast in the past week is "Some health experts urge HIV testing for all Americans" and "Iraqi election officials call for recount in disputed areas".
Prater disagreed and said that the news show is good at informing staff of what topics will be discussed prior to classroom broadcast. It is up to the teachers to monitor what is broadcast.
According to Rebecca White, spokesperson for the Department of Education, the board considered the following:
Moreover, Channel One is to refrain from advertising food and drink items with high-sugar, fat, or low-nutritional value; over the counter medicines; and also must refrain from showing movies and television shows that have a MPAA rating. The rating is for sexual, violent or drug content.
The board said monitoring shall be the responsibility of Channel One, parents and the school personnel.