• Tue, Sep 30 2008

Holy crap – A lesson in profanity

Well, sh*t. A middle school in Fresno is under fire because it created a list of 21 curse words that they have deemed unacceptable for use within the school. That would be fine, and not unusual in any way. What IS unusual is the fact that they made a literal list – and then posted it for all students.

The teachers simply wrote the words out on chalkboards, with no discussion, and announced that there would be zero tolerance for anyone using these words on school grounds. When it was slipped to parents, many were outraged that these words were presented to their children at all, and that parents weren’t consulted first, especially since not all of the terms were familiar to the kids, thereby giving them a lesson in new terminology.

One mom said her seventh grade son had no idea what some of the words and phrases meant. “He came home and said, ‘Mommy, what’s a blow j*b?”

The principal regrets not informing parents of their intentions first, which would have given them the opportunity to protest or have their children opt out that day.

I do understand some of the outrage. I don’t think my kids need to learn the f-word from their teacher, you know? But really, whether these words are “banned” or not, you know they’ll still be used on the school yards. When you hear a bad word from another kid, you might not say anything to your parents and be confused by its meaning or why it’s wrong to say. At the very least, having it come from the teachers probably made a lot of kids feel like it was okay to ask their parents about it, so their mom and dad can explain more about the reasons it’s unacceptable.

Still, I definitely would be a little shocked if my daughter came home to report she’d had a cussing lesson in class! What do you think?

(source, via Momlogic // photo: flickr)

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  • http://www.datingdames.com Michelle S

    I work in a school, an elementary school, and we have a hard time controlling the cussing sometimes. Just yesterday I had a talk with a 5th grader about the language he used and the fact that he flipped some girls off.

    I imagine that this school had been dealing with this issue for some time and probably came up with this in an effort to get it under control. Some kids will try to work things however they can in an attempt to get away with things. At our school, they are not allowed to use any word that would substitute for the f-word. When reminded of this they say, “Oh you mean ____ or ________or_______…..” to be “funny.” Writing the words on the board was probably an attempt to avoid something like that.

    I find the comment from the parent funny – what 7th grade boy says “Mommy?” I think that’s the mom’s spin on it and unfortunately, most middle school kids DO know what a blow j*b is and some are even getting them, which I think is a way bigger problem than the cussing.

    I feel bad for the teachers who had to stand at the board and write out all those words with goofy snickers going on behind their backs. I doubt very many of those kids learned much that was new and the parents that are outraged, should remind their kids that drastic measures are sometimes needed to address a problem. Also, they should tell their kids to not cuss at school, which is all the school was looking for in the first place.

  • http://thriftymommy.com Thrifty Karen

    I think some of these parents are just so naive. About 10 years ago I was called a B by a 2nd grader on a school bus. Don’t tell me these kids haven’t heard the F word yet.

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