Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Profanity laws for teachers

I see nothing wrong with this.  For years, I sort of used primetime television as a guide for boundaries but I don't think most teachers could do that in this day and age. TV is too risque these days.
"Parents do not want to come down (to their school) if Johnny's using the F-bomb," she said.
"Maybe the schools' educators and the boards and the districts will get the point that if their teachers are held to a higher standard that they ought to hold those kids to a higher standard."
Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, agreed to go along with other Republicans on the committee in approving the bill. But he said he has some major concerns that teachers might find themselves being disciplined because a kid "has an axe to grind" and files a false report on what a teacher has said.
"Who decides that it really happened?" he asked.
"All of a sudden, we have a teacher hung out to dry, once, twice, three times, and they're gone because a rogue student or students say, ‘Teacher, look what I'm going to do to you today, I'm going to go complain to my principal,'" Smith continued. "What recourse does the teacher have to defend themselves?"

I used to have a '74 VW camper that a particular student called the "shag wagon."  It didn't have shag carpeting but my assumption was that the term "shag" referred to the car's vintage (as in the period where shag carpeting was in vogue).  Without really thinking about it, I once asked a student if he would recover something from the "shag wagon."  A few months later when he was no longer controllable his mother filed a complaint against me including my use of "shag wagon."  My explanation to the principal was not believed.

There are so many euphemisms for sex and sexual anatomy that it often felt like walking a minefield.  How many people say "screwed up" in polite conversation?  What is the source of the that phrase?  Can a teacher say "sit your butt down?"  The last year I taught a girl asked me what people would think if she wore shorts to our civil war reenactment.  I said something to the effect that they might have considered a woman who dressed like that in the 1860's to be a bit of a "floozy." 

"What's a floozy?" she replied.

Before I could answer someone blurts out "whore."

A few weeks later, the girl was given a poor grade on an essay and her mother filed a complaint that I had called her a "floozy."  The principal said I should have used the term "immodest woman."  Fine.   But had I done that, it probably would have meant explaining "immodest" and we'd have entered the same realm. Meanwhile, a colleague of mine had told a student something he did was "f*cked up."  She was popular and I heard when it got back to his parents, they laughed about it. The joke was now that she had said "duck cup."  My take is that popular teachers will be immune from discipline over this while unpopular teachers will have the slightest breach turned into a major offense.

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