Parents and teens talk about the movie Thirteen - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Posted by: George Metaxas. 10/24/03, 10;24 a.m.

Parents and teens talk about the movie Thirteen

It's after 10 o'clock and I bet you know where your children are. But if they're adolescents, do you really know what they've been doing all day? Memphis police in Hickory Hill thought a new R-rated movie might open the eyes of some parents to what's really happening in their child's world. Here's a Crime Tracker follow-up report on the screening of the movie, Thirteen.

Thirteen tells the story of a girl so hungry for acceptance, she does drugs, has promiscuous sex and other stuff that gives parents ulcers. Yvette George, MPD Hickory Hill Co-Act said, "The purpose of this movie screening is to educate the parent about the double lives that your children can lead."

The Majestic Theater in Hickory Hill welcomed a big crowd of parents and adolescent children. After watching "thirteen," they shared thoughts. "I know for a fact having a sixth grader, he does have problems with peer pressure."

"We got 11, 12 year olds having sex, Lord Jesus have mercy on my soul."

"I teach my child, you're worth waiting for. I buy different materials and different things to encourage her that you're worth waiting for and virgin is not a dirty word."

Young people in the audience say they've observed the inappropriate behavior in the movie by some of their peers. "I see a lot of people that smoke, they do a lot of things like that, mess around up in class like feel on each other."

Holly Hunter plays a single mother in Thirteen with a live-in boyfriend who drinks and drugs in front of the adolescent characters.

"I would like to have seen a more stable single mother with the same issues."

"Children learn what they live. And what you do in your actions speak so much louder than your words."

"It was an eye opener for my son to see that."

One parent worries that Thirteen fails to show youngsters real long term consequences of risky behavior: AIDS or deadly drug or alcohol addiction. Police ended up giving a pep talk. "Be parents. The kids have enough friends. It's time to be their parents."

The screening was part of the Memphis Police department's ongoing "Reach and Teach" program.

It's co-sponsored by Hickory Hill neighborhood watches, businesses and churches as well as the M-P-D's Co-Act Unit.

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