Our coveted children’s show on PBS has taught us many things over the years, but now that times are changing, so is some of the show’s educational focus.
Sesame Street remains the leader in childhood educational programming as they have maintained their mission to reach every child that watches the show. They became trailblazers when they introduced Kami, the character with HIV, and explored the topics of deployment, divorce, and now incarceration. The show welcomes a new character, Alex, whose father is in jail. As he copes with his father’s absence, the Sesame Street family embraces him, according to the International Business Times.
They talk to him about his feelings of loneliness and let him know that they too have experienced having a parent that has been incarcerated. The series “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration” program hopes to connect with the children who are missing their parent(s) and how to cope with the temporary loss.
But, according to the Examiner, the new character has sparked controversy and some are saying it sends the wrong message. Radio host and U.S. conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, is at the top of that list.
“[A] … propaganda program designed to help children accept the fact that daddy is in jail” by dangerously telling kids that “all you have to do is talk about your feelings, draw a few pictures, write letters to your dad, and toddle off to visit him in jail every now and then and everything will be all rainbows and lollipops,” he said.”
Some people don’t want to help and don’t want to see others help either. This is not a conditioning of children, this is the state of the nation. According to the report from the Examiner, in 2007, 1.7 million parent(s) were incarcerated. They are relieving the pressure that children are experiencing as they have to grow up much faster in today’s society.
A clip of the show is below What do you think about the show addressing incarceration and other topics today’s child is experiencing?