DETROIT (CAP) - A Detroit mother has brought a landmark case against PBS, claiming the channel's educational programming failed to adequately educate her child. The suit, filed yesterday on behalf of Alicia Johnson, 33, states that her five-year-old was not properly prepared for kindergarten, despite being exposed to countless hours of allegedly educational television.
Johnson made the decision to contact a lawyer when her daughter, five year old Mia, was placed in the Yellow Group following kindergarten screening. Parents at the Detroit area Oakdale Elementary School confirm that the Yellow Group is the least desirable of the groups, with Blue being the highest level and Red being for average students.
"Yellow's for, like, the kids who, um, pick their noses or don't read yet and, um, sometimes they don't know their shapes and stuff. Like rhombus, do you know rhombus?" clarified fellow Oakdale kindergartener, Skylar Brown, who abruptly walked out of our interview when snack time was announced.
Johnson's lawyer, Michelle Kennedy, says that her client was stunned to find her daughter performing at a level below that of other children her age.
"Ms. Johnson is understandably angry. Her daughter was exposed to years of so-called educational television. And is she educated? No."
Kennedy went on to say that what the five-year-old had picked up from years of watching nothing but PBS programming was a myriad of annoying habits garnered from a variety of the channel's shows.
"The child can only speak in the third person, like Elmo from Sesame Street. She whines like Caillou. She runs around babbling gibberish, this 'la-la-ba-ba' kind of talk, which took us a while to figure out which show that came from. And then we saw this," Kennedy continued, directing our attention to a YouTube clip from the show Teletubbies.
"I mean ... really," Kennedy commented, shaking her head. "What the fuck IS this?"
Alicia Johnson declined our request for an interview. However, Danielle Tucker, Johnson's neighbor, says that the woman frequently let her daughter watch television from morning until night, believing the child would learn all she needed from PBS programming.
"They've got that Sid the Science Kid, and Sesame Street, which is supposed to teach you how to read, and that one with the guy and his monkey," Tucker said, referring to Curious George, which introduces children to concepts in math, science, and engineering. "It doesn't make sense; that kid should be smart as a whip, with all those years of TV. I don't know what happened."
Representatives for PBS refused to comment on the case, citing a gag order related to the cancellation of SEX! With Ruff Ruffman.
- CAP News Staff