MARCH 24, 1997

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Opinion

Guest Column

PTA Council opposed to V-Chip rating

V-Chip rating by Sue Kenney & Rhonda McKim, Chairs, "TV: Be Smart, Watch Smart"
Northshore PTA Council is joining forces with the National PTA to voice our opposition to the V-Chip rating systems presented by Jack Valenti, Chair of the TV Rating Implementation Group, on January 17, 1997.
   The current rating proposal doesn't provide parents and other caregiving adults with enough information to allow us to make appropriate choices for our children. At this point, we're not even sure the industry understands the system it has devised. Commercial broadcasters have a poor history of meeting the needs of our children, as evidenced by the many comments of concern the FCC listed in Report No. DC 95-49 on the industry's compliance with the CTA requirements.
   As a part of the public, we are requesting the FCC to allow us to be a partner in the development of a rating system. We agree wholeheartedly with Congress that "our children are this nation's most valuable resource, and we need to pay special attention to their needs." As documented by surveys this fall, parents want a rating system that includes content information. Parents also need to be included as members of the rating board. A period of review should be established to make sure that the new system meets the needs of parents.
   We accept the role and responsibility of raising our children. We are asking the FCC to accept its responsibility to make sure that broadcasters conform to the requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.