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School Gives Out Swear Word Work Sheet

Tuesday July 17 2012

CHILDREN as young as 11 have been asked to decide on the appropriate use of swear words — including the c-word — as part of a lesson at school.

Year seven pupils at Shafton Advanced Learning Centre, were given a worksheet called ‘Acceptable or Not?’ which listed situations including: using the c-word, telling your friend to f*** off and shouting f*** off across a classroom, in a shopping centre or in assembly.

It also asked pupils about saying s**t, calling someone a d***head during a lesson, making comments like ‘it’s pi**ing it down’ and telling someone to bu**er off.

The words were not censored and pupils were asked if it was ‘always ok, sometimes ok or never ok’ to say the expletives, or if ‘it depends’.

The project was part of a study on language and respect which had been delivered to all students in years seven to nine.

“As part of our social responsibility we are educating our students to understand what kind of language is appropriate, at what times and in what contexts.”

It added 700 students have taken part in this class and there had been no complaints from parents or students.

But Peter Foot, chairman of national organisation, the Campaign for Courtesy, said: “It’s extraordinary thing for a school to do. It’s appalling, and whether it was an individual or a group of teachers who issued the worksheets, then you worry about the wisdom.

“Someone should have said ‘hang on a minute, do you think it’s wise to print these words and circulate them?’

“What about a sealed letter home to the parents? And if anyone is offended, then don’t do it.”

What do you think? Is it acceptable or not? Join our debate by commenting in the box below.

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23 Showing 23 comments

Reply Posted by Jake on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 15:31
Those kids probably already knew the words in question, and use them daly, so teaching them that in some cases you can swear (like with friends) but mostly swearing isn't very acceptable is a good thing! Done correctly - I could see this being far more effective than the unofficial 'effin and Jeffin campaign

Reply Posted by Jess on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 15:39
When I started secondary school in one of the very first biology lessons I ever had, we had to shout out words such as 'erection', 'orgasm' and 'penis' as a class until everyone stopped laughing and from then on there wasn't so much as a giggle when the words appeared in the text books.
Children swear because it's taboo and they're pushing the boundaries. Without it being crass, and the teachers giving the children carte blanche on their language when in the classroom, I think that taking away the onus that you should only express yourself in one way will have a positive effect.

Reply Posted by amanda on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 15:54
Seems like a daft lesson, shouldn't children learn that any swearing at any time is not acceptable.... After all once you start swearing its hard to stop so never to start is the best way forward........

Reply Posted by Disgusted on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 17:02
When I heard of this I was totally disgusted.. If my children were at that school, they would have been withdrawn, luckily they are all grown up now.
The teachers who thought of this should be taken out and shot.. or at least dismissed for gross misconduct, along with any other official concerned.
I have never heard of anything as bad as this before.

Reply Posted by james on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 20:03
that head master wants sacking

Reply Posted by Dinky on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 20:09
In some way it makes sense in the sense of what is socially acceptable but whether you ask them if its acceptable or not is ridiculous NONE of them words are acceptable at all and they should not be given a choice as to whether it is OK to say them or not. You may as well encourage them to say it if your giving them a choice.

Reply Posted by lorraine on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 20:12
i am shocked at this report but not surprised taboo or not swear words shouldnt be used or taught in schools my eldest is 23 and my youngest 9 and do not swear dispite what their peers do my grand-daughter aged 3 knows right from wrong and tells you youre naughty if you use such a word theres no wonder the world is in such a mess what next? A few years ago it was sex education taught in schools from a young age and lo and behold we had mums aged 13 + so are we to look forward to hearing swearing no matter where we go?

Reply Posted by Barry on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 20:16
The school is only interested in children who are bad, these always get rewarded, yet both my daughter who have 100% attendance get nothing. If you really want a laughter About Shafton ALC, my oldest daughter has 100% yet in one of her subject she got a D for attendance meaning she had only attended 50% of the Lesson. When i rang school (which you have to do once a month because of all the problems) the teacher rang me back and said "has she attended my lesson".

Reply Posted by Dave on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 20:20
Taken out and shot? clearly you shouldnt have joined this debate as you are completly out of balance and unable to see the bigger picture in this lesson. Kids are bombarded by bad languge from every angle and it rubs off on them as they think its just normal and acceptable, if these words are directed in a educational setting and it helps them see that actualy it is wrong then i think its about time, It is our obligation to teach our children from a early age what is right and what is wrong, the rest is up to them whether to follow the guidlines or not as they grow. Anything to help our kids live a respectable balanced life, Well done teachers.

Reply Posted by karen green on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 20:27
There were probably no complaints from parents because we were not informed beforehand that the school were going to do these lessons. We were also not informed about the lesson they gave at shafton alc re knife crime showing actual cctv footage with someone being stabbed and when they brought a gun into school. No information was given at all about these lessons whice I believe is a failure on the school especially the head teacher.

Reply Posted by Teacher on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 20:35
As a primary school teacher I would like to say you would be amazed what the little darlings come out with even in nursery. Children are exposed to language constantly be it through parents swearing, spending time in pubs, seeing it on TV or hearing it in songs. You cannot shield your children from it because even if you make a huge effort to stop them hearing it the same can't be said for little Jonny's parents and when he repeats it at school your child is exposed despite your best efforts.
I think it is an important lesson on respect and appropriate language and I applaud the school's bravery in addressing this taboo subject. For those who say the teachers want sacking for gross misconduct please join us in the 21st century :)

Reply Posted by bev on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 21:18
ive heard far worse from parents taking their kids to junior school, so by the time some start big school they already know and use the swear words, maybe this will show that most of our kids dont do it becouse its cool but becouse they are used to hearing it,

Reply Posted by Alison on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 21:57
I agree with other parents with children at this school. We get no information on anything that they are doing. Surely the head teacher needs lessons in communication.

Reply Posted by Tlouc on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 22:31
I agree with Dave, it appears as though some people are not seeing the 'bigger picture'...it is becoming increasingly noticeable that some in society have no idea what is deemed as acceptable behaviour or acceptable language. For some children hearing foul language is just the norm. It would be interesting to know the results of the classroom survey. I really can't see the problem and I would not have an issue with my children attending the class.

Reply Posted by Guest on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 22:34
The people who think this is disgusting are probably the same people who think sex education is disgusting and then moan about the number of pregnant teens.

Reply Posted by Greg on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 23:06
This lesson was introduced due to the level of bad language already used in the school - it was to point out that no foul language is acceptable in school (or anywhere else to that matter)
Pupils were asked to mark when or if they found it acceptable to use foul language as indicated upon the work sheet - if they marked that it was acceptable then they were told it was not so.
If any pupil that continues to use foul language within the school they will find themselves excluded

Reply Posted by jimmy on Wednesday July 18 2012 at 00:39
I bet the most indignant parents are the ones who swear the most. The same ones who get fired up by 'paedos' then the dads perv on barely-18s on babecast

Reply Posted by bethany on Wednesday July 18 2012 at 10:44
to be honest all teenagers already know & use the swear words themselves, its upto them if they want to use them or not.

Reply Posted by jacqueline on Wednesday July 18 2012 at 10:47
Foul language is associated with weakness and inability. It is used by extreme attention-seekers, power-seekers who mistakenly think it makes them dominant, people losing control of themselves or a situation, and people who have never learned to express themselves effectively. While I appreciate the school was trying to teach social intelligence, it failed by showing too little social intelligence on the part of the teachers. It would have been better to elicit alternatives and extend the children's vocabulary. Foul/obscene language shouldn't be written in full because that embeds it in the language. The weak, foul sub-language was treated as standard and if children think this is the case and it becomes part of their vocabulary they will be in danger later of being written off as 'crass as they come' or 'scrubbers' or just incompetents. It was a sadly missed opportunity on the part of the staff.

Reply Posted by Amanda on Saturday July 21 2012 at 21:46
Fair enough children might have heard of 'bugger' but the c word? I'm not a parent, I'm 18 and I think that is so appalling. I wouldn't dream of saying it myself nevermind informing an 11 year old child of its existence. I can understand that the worksheet was done with good intentions, but such strong swear words are really not necessary in any walk of life nevermind in a primary school,

Reply Posted by Gina on Saturday July 21 2012 at 21:53
No it is deffinatley not acceptable. Children shouldn't be given the choice to decide whether certain swear words are ok or not. They should be taught right from wrong from both parents and teachers. The problem with todays kids is that a lot of parents swear in everyday language and so chidren don't understand or care about how rude and distrespectful it is.

Reply Posted by Robert on Saturday July 28 2012 at 09:54
Bad language is just quite simply unacceptable anywhere!

Reply Posted by Josie on Tuesday February 12 2013 at 00:27
My daughter came home from school today very upset . She said they were encouraged to use swear words by their teacher as part of diversity week . My understanding of the term diversity is having an acceptance of others race ,gender ,sexual orientation, religious beliefs etc ! Not getting 9 year olds to use the C word amongst other obscene expletives for as far as I'm concerned the teachers self gratification And then expect them not to use these words outside of school