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Reprimand Sought Against Teacher for Offensive Words
CNSNews.com ^ | September 12, 2002 | Dover Smeed

Posted on 09/12/2002 9:34:58 AM PDT by Moosejaw

(CNSNews.com) - Gay rights groups are calling for disciplinary action against a Michigan middle school teacher who included offensive words in a seventh grade spelling test.

The controversy erupted Tuesday when the parent of a student in teacher Lorna Fossum's English class at Rittmueller Middle School in Frankenmuth, Mich., complained about the words 'query' and 'fagot' being included in a weekly spelling test.

"There's no reason for our children to be exposed to words that insinuate hate," said Lance Marcus, whose son Bart brought home the weekly spelling test with the offending words, alerting Marcus and his domestic partner, Omar Freed, to the inclusion of the words on the test.

"With all the hate in the world today, the last thing we need is for children to be constantly bombarded with disparaging messages like this," said Freed, who was upset because the words sound similar to epithets used against gays.

The word 'query' means to question and 'fagot' refers to a bundle of sticks or wrought iron.

Marcus and Freed made their concerns known to the local Frankenmuth Rainbow Justice Alliance chapter and the Michigan Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Action League, which lodged a complaint on behalf of Marcus and Freed.

Claude Wolver, a spokesman for the MGLBTRAL said the group "is seeking redress at the local level, starting with immediately disciplining and punishment of the offending instructor and remedial sensitivity training," for Fossum.

Fossum did not respond to numerous telephone calls seeking comment, but Frankenmuth School District spokeswoman Elaine French said officials were "investigating the circumstances," and "considering a course of action."

"We're dedicated to diversity in Frankenmuth and we want to make absolutely sure our students receive the proper education to advance that mission," French said.

When asked what form of discipline might be imposed on Fossum, French said the options range from "a simple letter and compulsory sensitivity programming," to dismissal.

The complaint in Frankenmuth parallels the case of a North Carolina elementary teacher who was reprimanded for teaching the word 'niggardly' to her fourth-grade class.

In that case, parent Akwana Walker complained to Hanover County school officials, saying the word offended her because it sounds like a racial slur. The word 'niggardly' means stingy or miserly.

Teacher Stephanie Bell was disciplined and sent letters of apology to the parents of her students, promising to not use the word again.

The complaint about hate speech being included on spelling tests in Frankenmuth has prompted other parents to examine additional offensive words that might make their way into the school curriculum.

Ralph Zallow, president of the Greater Saginaw Council for Families, Children and Morality, said additional words might also be harmful to children, and is asking his group's members to examine the words 'masticate,' 'philatelist,' 'expectorate' and 'thespian.'

"We're trying to bring up our kids with a sense of decency and we sure don't want the public schools indoctrinating these precious youngsters to become thespians or to practice philately," said Zallow.

Even though philately describes stamp collecting and thespians refers to actors, Zallow said the words "just sound too much like something immoral."

"If you're a parent trying to raise an adolescent boy, you've got enough problems without having to worry about your teenager experimenting with mastication and expectorating," he warned.

According to Zallow, the confusion of adolescents is only compounded by words like masticate, which means to chew; and expectorate, which means to eject from the throat or lungs.

While Frankenmuth parents are increasingly concerned about specific words being taught to their children, Rittmueller Middle School students were less worried.

"This is just so totally bogus," said Franklin Cairnes, an eighth grader at Rittmueller. "It's like, duh, they're just words and stuff."

Melissa Makala, a seventh grader who is not in Fossum's English class, shared Cairnes' perspective. "This is such a major gag fest," said Makala. "It is, like, just so gay."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: baitandhook; education; notseries; pc; satire
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1 posted on 09/12/2002 9:34:59 AM PDT by Moosejaw
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To: Moosejaw
Atlas Reverse Dictionary Rhyming Dictionary Dictionary Thesaurus Merriam-Webster Unabridged

2 entries found for fagot.
To select an entry, click on it.
 
Main Entry: 1fag·ot
Variant(s): or fag·got /'fa-g&t/
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English fagot, from Middle French
Date: 14th century
: BUNDLE: as a : a bundle of sticks b : a bundle of pieces of wrought iron to be shaped by rolling or hammering at high temperature

2 posted on 09/12/2002 9:37:39 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: Moosejaw
"This is just so totally bogus," said Franklin Cairnes, an eighth grader at Rittmueller. "It's like, duh, they're just words and stuff."

Melissa Makala, a seventh grader who is not in Fossum's English class, shared Cairnes' perspective. "This is such a major gag fest," said Makala. "It is, like, just so gay."

Both of whom further underscore the need to teach, like, the English language. These two quotes could qualify this thread as "humor" if they weren't so pathetic.

3 posted on 09/12/2002 9:38:20 AM PDT by Lil'freeper
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To: Moosejaw
I can't believe these shirtlifters are being so niggardly with this child's educational opportunities.
4 posted on 09/12/2002 9:38:37 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: Moosejaw
Atlas Reverse Dictionary Rhyming Dictionary Dictionary Thesaurus Merriam-Webster Unabridged

2 entries found for query.
To select an entry, click on it.
 
Main Entry: 1que·ry
Pronunciation: 'kwir-E, 'kwer-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural queries
Etymology: alteration of earlier quere, from Latin quaere, imperative of quaerere to ask
Date: circa 1635
1 : QUESTION, INQUIRY
2 : a question in the mind : DOUBT
3 : QUESTION MARK

5 posted on 09/12/2002 9:38:57 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I wish these query fagots would just shut the hell up.
6 posted on 09/12/2002 9:39:02 AM PDT by ohioman
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To: Moosejaw
Hilarious!
7 posted on 09/12/2002 9:40:46 AM PDT by SeattleTiger
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To: Moosejaw
This is a joke right?! Sensitivity/stupidity run amok!
8 posted on 09/12/2002 9:40:48 AM PDT by PLOM...NOT!
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To: Moosejaw
Um, folks? Its a joke. Its not series.
9 posted on 09/12/2002 9:41:11 AM PDT by The G Man
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To: Moosejaw
Would you go blind if you masticate using a condominium?
10 posted on 09/12/2002 9:42:04 AM PDT by Bon mots
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To: The G Man
It's series as a crotch!
11 posted on 09/12/2002 9:42:30 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan
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To: Moosejaw
"Melissa Makala, a seventh grader who is not in Fossum's English class, shared Cairnes' perspective. "This is such a major gag fest," said Makala. "It is, like, just so gay."

LOL...Miss Makala is, like, soooo right...MUD

12 posted on 09/12/2002 9:43:19 AM PDT by Mudboy Slim
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To: Moosejaw
Wait, I have a bundle of questions regarding this article or should I say a fagot query?
13 posted on 09/12/2002 9:43:33 AM PDT by Lockbox
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To: ohioman
This is sooo niggardly! ;^D
14 posted on 09/12/2002 9:43:36 AM PDT by johnny7
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan
Tee hee, good one.
15 posted on 09/12/2002 9:45:27 AM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Moosejaw
This is insanity of the highest order. Those words are perfectly good words which are commonly used in the English language every day. They only resemble "queer" and "faggot" which may be viewed by some as inflammatory. The stupidity of some people never fails to amaze me.
16 posted on 09/12/2002 9:45:58 AM PDT by AUgrad
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To: Moosejaw
I wish this was from The Onion, but it isn't. The smartest decision I have ever made in my life was when I decided NOT to go into teaching.

I was an education major, had a deadline to sign up for a student teaching assignment, couldn't bring myself to do it.

No regrets.

17 posted on 09/12/2002 9:48:15 AM PDT by mombonn
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To: AUgrad
OK, egg on my face. Boy do I feel stupid. Blood pressure: down, indignation:off.
18 posted on 09/12/2002 9:50:01 AM PDT by AUgrad
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To: Moosejaw
Query: Are fagots used to make a flambeau?
19 posted on 09/12/2002 9:50:10 AM PDT by capitan_refugio
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To: ohioman
hope they dont have to ride a ferry to get home
20 posted on 09/12/2002 9:50:24 AM PDT by joesnuffy
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To: Ciexyz
Tee hee, good one.

Thank you, thank you! I'm here til Thursday - try the veal, it's delicious!
21 posted on 09/12/2002 9:52:10 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan
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To: Moosejaw
Does everyone know this is satire?
It is funny.
22 posted on 09/12/2002 9:54:11 AM PDT by EricEssig
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To: Bon mots
I just love these word threads...if I were an English teacher, it would really enhance my skills in K-12 pedagogy! As it is, though, it just has great potential for enhancing my personal vocabulary...

;)

23 posted on 09/12/2002 9:54:59 AM PDT by 88keys
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To: AUgrad
OK, egg on my face. Boy do I feel stupid. Blood pressure: down, indignation:off.

Pins and needles,
Needle and pins,
Its a happy man who grins

:>)

24 posted on 09/12/2002 9:55:29 AM PDT by The G Man
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To: Moosejaw
"...it is like, so gay."

Amusing story. ;^)

25 posted on 09/12/2002 9:57:24 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: Lil'freeper
It *IS* humor.

It's a satire.

(i.e., not real)
26 posted on 09/12/2002 9:59:36 AM PDT by SarahW
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To: joesnuffy
Oh but they do. Mr. Pbear runs a ferry boat on San Francisco Bay.
27 posted on 09/12/2002 10:06:57 AM PDT by pbear8
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To: Bon mots
Remember: always apply a condiment before you ruminate.
28 posted on 09/12/2002 10:07:08 AM PDT by itzmygun
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To: capitan_refugio
Query: Are fagots used to make a flambeau?

Why, I believe they are!!

ROFL...this has potential for "quote of the day", I think...bwahahahaHA!

Inquiry: do large or small fagots make the most flamboyant flamers for your patio flambeau? Caveat: they will help keep insects away, but are hazardous if left too close to the house or garage...

29 posted on 09/12/2002 10:09:09 AM PDT by 88keys
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To: Moosejaw
Pity the child when he stumbles across something called SQL (database management is so, like, un-PC, you know?) or if he reads the label on an over-the-counter medication containing the word expectorant!

Thank God they didn't try to get the word condiment into the mix. "Hey, dads, do you guys use a condiment when you ..." ... ah ... never mind.

30 posted on 09/12/2002 10:11:13 AM PDT by Boomer Geezer
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To: Moosejaw
More madness.
31 posted on 09/12/2002 10:12:59 AM PDT by stanz
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To: Moosejaw
Faggott: German for Bassoon.

Querflote: German for Traverse Flute.
32 posted on 09/12/2002 10:14:50 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic
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To: Doctor Stochastic
Oh, the disparagement, the hate, the intolerance!
33 posted on 09/12/2002 10:16:46 AM PDT by Moosejaw
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To: Moosejaw
I have a friend who is originally from england, but has been in the US since she was 20. She will sometimes say she wants a fag or get me a fag or something like that. She's referring to a cigarette. She does this in public places and people give her very bad looks. For those educated in public schools, a fag in england is a cigarette. in america we turned that word into meaning homosexual, as in flaming fag.
34 posted on 09/12/2002 10:16:52 AM PDT by Red Jones
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To: Moosejaw
Great writing. Your work? You had me until the very end.
35 posted on 09/12/2002 10:20:41 AM PDT by ibbryn
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To: Lockbox
I was out with the chainsaw the other day and had to ask the wife "What length wood goes in the stove?" Would that be a fagot query?
36 posted on 09/12/2002 10:21:18 AM PDT by eno_
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To: SarahW
(i.e., not real)

Thank you for the definition. CNSN.com had the grace to title their piece:

Satire: Reprimand Sought Against Teacher for Offensive Words... Read the Satire

Unfortunately, as it true with the best satire, it is quite believable.

37 posted on 09/12/2002 10:26:56 AM PDT by Lil'freeper
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
what about the word 'shitzhu'?
38 posted on 09/12/2002 10:37:41 AM PDT by hunyb
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan; The G Man
I think the word you're looking for is 'serious'.
39 posted on 09/12/2002 10:38:11 AM PDT by asformeandformyhouse
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To: asformeandformyhouse; GodBlessRonaldReagan; The G Man
No, they really do mean "series".

Seriesly.

40 posted on 09/12/2002 10:41:38 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: asformeandformyhouse
(best Foghorn Leghord impression)It's a joke, son, it's a joke!
41 posted on 09/12/2002 10:42:12 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan
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To: Constitution Day; GodBlessRonaldReagan; The G Man
LOL. I must apoligize though. I thought I hit 'Private Reply'.
42 posted on 09/12/2002 10:43:20 AM PDT by asformeandformyhouse
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To: Moosejaw
Oh my Cod! Did someone just make this up for the halibut?
43 posted on 09/12/2002 10:44:00 AM PDT by luckodeirish
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To: ohioman
ROFL!!!
44 posted on 09/12/2002 10:47:17 AM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
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To: Bon mots
Would you go blind if you masticate using a condominium?

Not if you stop when you need glasses. Unless you swing both ways, in which case you need bi-focals...

45 posted on 09/12/2002 10:49:10 AM PDT by talleyman
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To: 88keys
It's not just the English threads...

I once had a Social Studies class where we got the teacher going by asking...
"If Russia attacked Turkey from the rear, would Greece help?"

The bimbo was truly oblivious to our snickers...

46 posted on 09/12/2002 1:32:17 PM PDT by Bon mots
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
We're trying to bring up our kids with a sense of decency and we sure don't want the public schools indoctrinating these precious youngsters to become thespians or to practice philately," said Zallow.

Somebody needs to set this doofus straight. Thespians don't philate each other. They do the cunilibungus. Querys and fagots do the philately-o.

47 posted on 09/12/2002 1:45:00 PM PDT by San Jacinto
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To: wideawake
If I were the child's parent, I would query the principal about his niggardly application of common sense.
48 posted on 09/12/2002 1:51:47 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: Bon mots
LOL
49 posted on 09/12/2002 1:52:05 PM PDT by paul51
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To: Bon mots
I once had a Social Studies class where we got the teacher going by asking... "If Russia attacked Turkey from the rear, would Greece help?".......

Or in science class, learning about the relative sizes of the planets...

"Okay, so Ms. Smith,... if Mars were the size of a peach, would Uranus be as big as a grapefruit?"

50 posted on 09/12/2002 1:52:07 PM PDT by San Jacinto
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