Red Light, Green Light

I had to watch this horrible film at least twice in the mid-seventies as a first or second-grader in school. It's the kind of experience you don't forget so easily.

At first you might think it's filled with good intentions, but there are a lot of bad suggestions: a sexual predator might not necessarily "look dangerous". The signals aren't always so clear, and the basic advice of "be careful around people you don't know" would be more beneficial and less harmful than what they're promoting here. There's also no mention of the fact that most sexual abuse happens within the family. The glib, irresponsible statement that parents, teachers, clergymen, authority figures are "green light" will only make the children who are the victims of these people feel more confused and helpless.

Then there's the more obvious message: All pedophiles are homosexuals (and by that logic, all homosexuals are pedophiles). Even the girl at the movie theater gets accosted by a woman. We have a long way to go in accepting different lifestyles, but at least some progress has been made in recent decades, and children aren't exposed to this degree of prejudice in the public school system anymore.

If you sat through that whole 20 minutes of fear and hate, you might want to follow it up with a few tips from The Safety Gang (courtesy Robert Smigel's TV Funhouse):

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