Miss Pink's music teacher emailed me back as soon as school was out. He remembered the incident with the "Thriller" video. He'd had some extra time in some classes, so they were watching videos of their favorite Michael Jackson songs (they study influential American musicians, and Johnny Cash was another one they were studying.) When someone asked for "Thriller," he hesitated and warned the kids that there were some scary parts and asked if anyone didn't want to watch the video. As he said, he made the mistake of thinking the younger kids could understand what he was saying and make a good choice for themselves. During the video, he noticed Miss Pink crying and he stopped the video and tried to comfort her. He apologized to me and said he felt terrible that he had caused her to miss sleep. This was enough for me; he took responsibility and promised to be more careful in the future.
As for the movie, I was glad I had asked IF they had watched the movie instead of assuming they had, because they had NOT watched the whole movie. The only parts they watched were clips of the songs--no speaking scenes. This was fine with me because it would help the music come alive for the kids. (And in fact Miss P recognized the real Johnny and June singing "Jackson" on the radio while we were traveling). The teacher explained that all movies have to be G-rated or they have to get parents to sign a permission slip. This made me feel much better, of course.
The teacher also echoed what you all kindly told me: that I was not being That Parent who makes his job harder, but a parent who wants the best for my child He always wants me to come to him with any concerns. It was a good exchange all the way around.
Finally, in a completely unrelated incident, I would like to ask for your thoughts and prayers for the family of our youth pastor, whose 28-year-old brother pulled a gun on a police officer. Apparently the officer got the gun away from him but the brother pulled out another gun and pointed it at the officer, who then shot him. Later, the young man died. Tragically, the guns were actually replicas--but of course the officer didn't know that. I think about my children, whom I love so much, getting mixed up with drugs (this seems to be the case here) and making mistakes that lead to their death, and my heart breaks for their family, especially with this happening right before the holidays. I pray that they will find strength and comfort in knowing that people across the world are thinking and praying about them.