The Journal of History     Fall 2002 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Students locked up after
refusing to watch Channel One

By Eliza Strickland

When Ohio teenagers DJ and Carlotta Maurer walked out of their classrooms in October to protest the compulsory viewing of Channel One, a television program with commercials which is shown in schools across America, school officials realized they had a couple of dangerous radicals on their hands. Principal Patrick Calvin invoked the truancy provision of the school's code of student conduct, and 13-year-old DJ and 14-year-old Carlotta were whisked away to the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center, where they had all day to consider their crime.

Since then, Commercial Alert and Obligation, Inc., two national anti-media groups, have taken up the Maurers' cause. The groups wrote to Ohio Governor Bob Taft, urging him to remove Channel One from all public schools.

"When the government sends children to a juvenile detention center because they don't want to watch advertising, that is both Orwellian and more than a little sick," reads the letter. "The public schools ought to be a sanctuary from the noxious aspects of commercial culture."

The governor has not responded to the letter. But the school is in negotiation with the Maurers, who have religious objections to television. It seems a day in the lockup didn't cool their heels enough to keep them from kicking.

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The Journal of History - Fall 2002 Copyright © 2002 by News Source, Inc.