Skip to comments.Let pupils swear in school, argues parents' group
Posted on 08/30/2005 4:55:20 AM PDT by Libloather
Let pupils swear in school, argues parents' group
Parents' representatives say teachers make swearing worse by overreacting
Call for open swearing in classroom follows trial in English school
Teachers groups there is no place for swearing in Scottish classrooms
"Experienced teachers know swearing is something that needs different responses depending on the situation, but I do not think it is acceptable in a formal school setting" - Jim McNally, head of the Children in School section of the Institute of Education at Stirling University
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PUPILS should be allowed to swear in the classroom rather than be punished for their four-letter-word outbursts, Scottish parents' representatives said yesterday.
The Scottish Parent Teacher Council said teachers exacerbate the use of bad language in school by overreacting to commonly used swear words.
The comment comes after a school in England provoked an angry reaction among traditionalists by announcing it would allow the use of swear words up to five times per lesson to encourage pupils to think about their language.
However, the SPTC calls have been condemned by some teaching unions, which say there is no place for swearing in Scotland's schools.
Eleanor Coner, the spokeswoman for the SPTC, said of the trial in England: "I think it's sensible and would be good to try. It's about time we stopped over-reacting to things. A lot of the problems in classrooms have been from teachers overreacting to things like swearing.
"I don't think we should go round swearing all the time," she said. "But in particular the 'F word' has become such a common thing in language that, yes, people should be made to think about it. But if you overreact you are less likely to be effective in stopping it.
"The school in England is using this method for 15 and 16-year-olds. If we want them to behave like adults we have to treat them like adults.
"This is similar to having a swear box in the office. It will make them think about their language without being an overreaction."
Education experts said knowing how to respond to swearing in the classroom was a growing dilemma for student teachers.
Jim McNally, the head of the Children in School section of the Institute of Education at Stirling University, said: "I think the SPTC is right, in that it is important not to overreact because of a knee-jerk reaction to swearing, which can happen in a number of different circumstances."
He pointed to the difference between a child muttering something under their breath that a teacher just overhears and a pupil who deliberately swears at a teacher to verbally abuse and undermine them.
"Experienced teachers know swearing is something that needs different responses depending on the situation, but I do not think it is acceptable in a formal school setting."
Teaching unions gave a mixed response to the trial in England.
Ronnie Smith, the general secretary of the EIS, Scotland's biggest teaching union, said: "There's not a standard answer to the problem of swearing and I wouldn't pass judgment on this [trial]. Children can see professional football players swearing on television and getting away with it sometimes and sent off at other times."
But Jim Docherty, assistant general-secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, said there was no place for swearing in classrooms: "I would be amazed if the Scottish Parent Teacher Council is speaking for most parents on this."
Bill McGregor, the general secretary of the Headteachers' Association of Scotland, also said swearing should not be tolerated in the classroom.
Ewan Aitken, the education spokesman for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, called for a "hard line" to be taken on swearing in schools. "I believe that swearing [in schools] should be unacceptable," he said. There may be an occasion when something goes wrong and a pupil swears and the teacher has the discretion to say, 'OK, that's not like you, but if you do it again you'll be in serious trouble'. But swearing is certainly not something education should be encouraging.
"I do know of schools where teachers have learned to live with it, because if they were to exclude pupils for swearing there would be no-one left."
Apparently, it's acceptable language from parents and on tv, so why not in the classroom.
Next it will be what they did in the 80's with the mentally retarded. They had to give them a 'special' room for lovemaking since it is their God given right. The school kids will have their own special room for when their God given desires kick in----along with free condoms of course.
What happens when the kids want to have sex in the classroom?
Ebonics as well as swearing stateside. Let's make it a true minor leagues for the prison system.
In other words, we represent the Teachers Union and we don't want to do the work of discipline in school. Parents don't want it and kids are going to do it anyway so we are just going to give up.
What a tragedy.
I completely disagree. One of the real causes of the present coarsening of public culture is that parents and teachers are not teaching their children to avoid vulgar language.
The disintegration of Western Society continues. Oh well, the Chinese will rise again like they did 1000 years ago.
The thugs may come in the form Nazi brown-shirts, or Russian communist "workers" --- but it is they that rule in debased society.
This is coming to Western Europe: we just don't know which form the next ruling thugs will take. Much of this is happening here, but we still have some conservatives left and this is not a done deal here.
I am constantly telling my children that intelligent people should have a large vocabulary, therefore making it unnecessary to swear. : )
When my son was in the second grade, he and a few of his buddies were caught using some bad language in the boys room. A teacher was walking past and heard them. She called them out into the hall, took them back to their class and informed the teacher. My son was so upset because he claims he was not using this language in the boys room, and that he was only laughing. I asked him why he thought using bad language is funny and he said he wasn't laughing at the bad language.....he was laughing at the way one of the boys spelled the "F" word......all the letters except the "C". I giggled a little but then it dawned on me....how would he know how to spell the "F" word correctly. He said he just knew and dropped the subject quickly. He's now going into the 7th grade and to this day, he still won't confess as to how he knew how the "F" word was spelled.
link please. WOW. The 80s were Crazy weren't they!