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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Soaps give pupils 'wrong message'
EastEnders
Teachers are concerned about the content of soaps
Soap operas and TV advertisements that glorify bad behaviour are having a negative influence on younger viewers, teachers have warned.

According to the Professional Association Of Teachers (PAT), schools do a "brilliant job" of instilling moral values in students, when their parents have failed to do so.

However, delegates at the annual PAT conference in Telford, Shropshire, have said they are up against the "adverse influences" that television brought into children's lives.

I think it's important thiat some of the stories going out show that there's value to being selfless

Janet Martin, PAT

"As responsible educators it is our duty to ensure that our children have the tools with which to live as grown-ups," said Janet Martin, PAT's regional officer for south-east England.

"We are, however, working against a background of adverse influences. The adverts that tell us 'you are worth it' or 'you owe it to yourself' do everyone a great disservice."

Ms Martin said she could not recall any recent examples of unsuitable storylines in soaps and refused to single out one programme, referring instead to the influence of such shows.

"Soaps and dramas telling of the ease with which some characters get their own way, trick others or enjoy tormenting people - all of these are sending dangerous messages to our young people," sadded

Ms Martin stressed that she was not calling for programmes like EastEnders or Brookside to be shown after the 2100 watershed, but that broadcasters should consider the consequences of the storylines they portray.
Brookside
Brookside's 'explicit' content has landed it in trouble

She said: "I do think it's important that some of the stories going out show that there's value to being selfless."

Soaps have been criticised for their violent content in the past, and a recent survey by the Broadcasting Standards Commission indicated that many viewers worry about the effect of storylines on younger viewers.

The watchdog recently criticised EastEnders, saying that violent scenes broadcast last Christmas were too graphic to be shown before the watershed.

Last week Channel 4 was reprimanded by the Independent Television Commission for showing a sexual encounter in Brookside which was "too explicit" for its early evening timeslot.

See also:

30 May 02 | Entertainment
09 May 02 | Entertainment
22 Jul 02 | Entertainment
25 Apr 02 | Entertainment
29 Mar 02 | Entertainment
30 Apr 01 | Entertainment
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