BYU Bars Use of R-Rated Movies in Class

After years of discussion, Brigham Young University has formalized a policy to ensure classroom study is rated PG-13.

Professors at the Mormon-owned private university started following a policy this semester that discourages showing R-rated movies in classes.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints counsel members to avoid films with excessive gore, violence, profanity or nudity.

The guidelines apply to visual and literary materials used in class. It says that faculty should not "require students to view unedited R-rated movies, as a matter not simply of content but of obedience to prophetic counsel."

The two-page statement urges professors to pick films, books, poems, paintings, music and sculptures that are "appropriate to BYU's mission and teach them in ways that invite the spirit of God into the classroom."

BYU spokeswoman Carri P. Jenkins said recently that to her knowledge, faculty won't be disciplined if they don't adhere to the guidelines.

John S. Tanner, chairman of BYU's English department, who helped create the guidelines along with input from faculty meetings and previous policies used in the College of Humanities, said he's received no feedback for or against the guidelines.

BYU says the policy will be reviewed in two years.