St. Mary High School, O’Neill, Nebraska

December 3, 2004

You wouldn’t think ANY Catholic school would have a contract with Channel One News. A church-run school that tolerates the advertising of drug and alcohol movies and sexually charged movies and TV shows to students is a church-run school that has many more problems than Channel One. (Note: Channel One continues to advertise PG-13 movies to middle schoolchildren.)

In 2005, Obligation is going to draw national attention to individual schools that have contracts with Channel One News. Quite frankly, we haven’t done a good job of shining a spotlight on schools that recklessly rent TV equipment from Channel One.

We are doing a “test run” with a Catholic school in Nebraska. Welcome to St. Mary’s High School in O’Neill, Nebraska. Below is the bell schedule for St. Mary’s. Notice the slot for Channel One News.

The school allots 8 minutes for the 12-to-13-minute TV show. Since it is shown exactly at 8:00 a.m., the beginning of the school day, one can only imagine that there are at least 3 to 4 minutes of talking with the students and making announcements. Actually, the whole 8 minutes is probably spent with other matters more important than the junk food ads on Channel One News. Obligation sees this type of contract breach at many schools.

This church school is violating their contract with Channel One. Obligation has NEVER encouraged schools to breach their contract. To breach a contract is to steal. A school board that breaches a major contract like Channel One’s is probably breaching other contracts.

National advertisers like Hostess Twinkies and MTV have paid good money for ads on Channel One News and they are getting fleeced by St. Mary’s. These advertisers paid for the children to be forced to watch the entire show – not a few minutes of it.

We would encourage St. Mary’s in O’Neill to call Channel One News and tell them the deal is over. (A school board or school can end the Channel One contract at ANY TIME. There is no additional penalty.) We would advise the school to tell Channel One the TV equipment is remaining at St. Mary’s because the school has already paid for the equipment with the years of lost student time.

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