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The War on Kids (2009)

 -  Documentary  -  1 June 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 175 users   Metascore: 43/100
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Shows how American public schools have failed in their mission to provide education, erode the country's democratic foundation by denying the most basic civil rights to youth, and often resemble prisons.


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Credited cast:
Randy Cassingham ...
Interview Subject


THE WAR ON KIDS shows how American public schools continue to become more dangerously authoritarian. In addition to failing in their mission to provide education, they erode the country's democratic foundation by denying the most basic civil rights to youth and often resemble prisons. Written by Cevin Soling

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

education | youth | school | children | See All (4) »


School is the Enemy




Not Rated


Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 June 2009 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


(black & white archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Won Best Educational Documentary at NY International Independent Film and Video Festival 2009. See more »

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User Reviews

If you're a parent of a teenager, watch this film
24 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If there was ever a film that would make a parent of an overachieving teenager find the low-life, they normally wouldn't let their child be with for being a low-life, and feel sorry for that low-life or embrace that person, then it did a job well done. That's what 'The War on Kids' is that kind of film that'll cause the CEO of a household take a second look at a child's low-life looking friends and realizes there was something they all have in common, victims of bullying in the hands of teachers. The film does what every kid wants to do any cruel teachers but is tortured into silence that even parents ends up being the last to know, which it's too late. We all seen shows like i-Carly that show the heroes fighting back in hilarious ways with results in a success. However, in real, it's not a funny matter, even if the crackdown is successful.

Cevin Soling finally breaks the social taboo that few are willing to admit and points out the flaws in the bullying by teachers. No wait, bully is to kind of a word, torture sounds and some why. Soling explain the use of 'zero-tolerance' is a modern day version of corporal punishment had lead to more forms of turning schools into prisons, even if classes are smaller, teachers are better trained, and additional funding was given. Schools have become a symbol of destroying free-thought, and even medicine to control that so-call disorders like oppositional defiance disorder increased the adultism the school are guilty of and refused to like it be known. The film focuses on teenagers, mainly but points pre-teens aren't safe either.

Now, what is this worst than corporal punishment? For one thing, corporal "physical" punishment will land a school official in jail in some US states and secondly, it's rarely used. However, corporal punishment is still unacceptable because school official aren't allow to touch students, except for a hand shake. Yet, it was only used as a last resort in an alternate to suspension since a student's education had to be done. On the other hand, in the times before zero-tolerance and the Orwellian society, common sense was used and was more effective.

During the times before zero-tolerance, if you had a classmate who harassed to the point to have enough and revolt by punching back, it would get the bully so much in shock rather hurt, the bully would learn a lesson and that was it. In modern times, criminal changes would be filed even if your reason was understand to the point the police would leave you alone. Teachers would simply work on reason when it comes to discipline, for minor crimes were let go or a warning was enough. Now, drugs and violence has created a new breed of trouble in the school. Soling really points out the issue, head-on.

If schools were going to teach how to be responsible adults, why not teach the rights they have. Soling points how students are basically wroth nothing. They are denied their rights, forced to be drugged or tested for drugs, forced to snitch, and are constant watch, even a serial killer with no soul would think that is outrageous. Schools claim that are trying to keep a second Columbine from happening where it's doing the exact opposite since it was the formula of that tragic shooting. If you're a parent of a teenager, watch this film!

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