Toronto, May 7, 2008- Violence in the media is pervasive. The negative and destructive effects of violent music videos, video games, TV programs, music lyrics, the Internet and television programs are well-researched. They are directly linked to safety in schools and in our communities. Our children and youth are their daily targets. As a society we can’t afford to be complacent about the invasive power of the media and entertainment industry to influence young people. We have to counter the negative influences through strengthening critical awareness.
A coalition has formed among concerned organizations determined to counter the unchecked barrage of “entertainment” violence that young people are exposed to every day. Tools must be placed in the hands of students, parents and educators to challenge the insidious and toxic effects of media violence. Research has shown that the single most effective action we can take to reduce aggression in schools today is to educate children about the destructive effects of violent videos, music and television programs and to help students be more informed and critical users of media.
As a key first step, a provincial conference titled Confronting Violence in the Media and Entertainment Industry is scheduled for Monday, May 12th, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Doubletree International Plaza Hotel Toronto Airport, 655 Dixon Road, Toronto. This day marks the launch of a CD titled Critical Media Literacy Resources for JK-Gr. 12 Addressing Violence in the Media. This dynamic resource was developed by teachers for teachers. It is aligned with Ontario curriculum and has Ministry endorsement.
Conference presentations include:
- The Teenage Brain: Strengths and Vulnerabilities ? Dr. Jim Stieben, Director of Clinical and Social Developmental Neuroscience at the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative, York University
- The Relationship Between Media Violence and Violent Crime: Lt. Col. David Grossman, scholar, author, and speaker who is one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime
- Where Do We Go From Here: Dr. Peter Jaffe, Professor, Faculty of Education, Academic Director, Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, the University of Western Ontario
In the evening, Lt. Col. David Grossman, author of Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill, will offer compelling evidence of the connection between media violence and violent crime at a free community forum to be held at OISE/UT Auditorium, 252 Bloor Street West from 7:00 pm – 9 pm.
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For more information, please contact:
Coalition members include:
Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association
Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association
Ontario Federation of Home & School Associations
Ontario Principals’ Council
Ontario Provincial Police
Ontario Public School Boards’ Association
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
Ontario Student Trustees’ Association
Ontario Teachers’ Federation