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The Pta Position

April 18, 1987

I'd like to clarify an error in Dennis McDougal's "Battle of Rock Lyrics Flares Up at Symposium" (April 6). At no time did national PTA President Ann Kahn state or even suggest that "the Beastie Boys foster free-basing" or even that there is "a connection between heavy-metal music and animal sacrifice," as McDougal said.

The PTA's approach is that many parents feel that music that explains explicit sex, explicit violence or the encouragement to use alcohol and other drugs is not appropriate for some children.

Parents should have some means for knowing when they may be purchasing such music for their children or when their children may purchase it for themselves. It is up to parents alone to determine what they feel is best for their own children.

Therefore, we have suggested that the music industry either provide a small label in the lower back corner of music covers indicating "explicit lyrics--parental advisory" or provide the complete lyrics on the outside of music packages.

We have faced the problem of being grouped by the media with others whose approach is to condemn rock music or censor it in some way. We want to make a clear distinction between the PTA's approach--which is one of no censorship, only consumer information--and others with a different agenda.


Public Relations Director

PTA, Chicago

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