Letter: To see the influence of TV violence, visit a playground

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The Independent Online
AS A TEACHER, I come across many children from happy homes who have television in their bedrooms and watch until closedown ('Keep violence off our screens, says Major', 7 March).

These children watch an unadulterated diet of violence, sex, rape and torture, and the next morning act it out in the playground. If Alan Yentob doesn't believe in the direct imitative response to violence, he should watch children miming the actions of the previous night's horrors. 'We're only playing,' they happily protest, and indeed they are. But all play is merely preparation for adulthood. Today's generation has been well 'prepared' and we are now reaping the results. It is nave and hypocritical to imagine that children watching television night after night will be influenced by the adverts for sweets and toys but unaffected by continual depravity.

Children learn by example, and cannot often distinguish between fact and fantasy, between reality and television. Television comes into our homes and should be fit for family viewing at all times. Maybe there should be a watchdog committee similar to those for water, gas and electricity, made up of ordinary viewers. Television has more power than Parliament and it is abusing that power. It must be restrained.

E Jenkins

Liverpool

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