Schools get responsive and responsible
Principals ban students from participating in reality shows after quizmaster's letter
By Rashmi Menon
Quizmaster Derek O'Brien has been writing to schools around the city expressing his concern over students' participation in reality shows. He says that some of US's biggest reality shows like Survivor, American Idol and Big Brother have a specified age limit. In fact, the minimum age to enter American Idol is 16 years, he says.
After Sunday MiD DAY reported (SMD, July 6) quizmaster Derek O'Brien's plan to send letters to city-based schools requesting them to discourage students from participating in reality shows, around 345 schools have received the letters. They include Champion school, Maneckji Cooper Education Trust, Utpal Shanghvi, Bombay Scottish and The Cathedral and John Cannon School in Mumbai. And O'Brien has received responses from many, with some banning student participation in such shows outright.
So is the government going look into this issue? Leena Mehendale, member secretary of the state Child Rights Protection Commission, says that once the commission members are appointed, perhaps it will look into forming some guidelines. "The 'I must win' spirit is good but it should not be made as a life and death situation," says Mehendale.