Moderated swearing should not be reprimanded in school

Matt Roman

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Everyday throughout the hallways, students spout vulgar words in normal conversation. Alas, when these commonly used phrases are heard in the classroom, teachers often yell at the students and tell them that this language unacceptable. Swearing can result in a level one or level two administrative referral, which can at worst result in community service, according to the student code of conduct. This is a much too harsh punishment for words that are simply just words. Although most students probably haven’t faced this severe of consequences, many have been chastised for using words that can be considered rude. I am one of these students. Last year, I was playing golf solitaire and got a bad card, causing me to lose. I screamed the f-word. My teacher yelled at me for this, which was completely unnecessary. This was an automatic reaction to a negative thing happening to me which I was unable to control. However, it resulted in me being chastised.

This is not to say that any words should be used. There are still some very hurtful words that should never be used in school, but normal curse words should be permitted. This is high school. Students will be hearing these words everywhere once they reach adult life, so there is no need to shield people from them. This isn’t to say that every word should be permitted. There are some words that can be very hurtful to people, but the classic “bad words” should not be an issue in the classroom.

People may think that saying a bad word when it is directed at someone should be banned. However, the classic “F you” is almost always used in a joking, friendly way, as are many insults using bad words. Also an insult based around a bad word, such as “f you” or calling someone a piece of s**t is not as demeaning as an insult one could give using normal words, such as telling someone they should “have a fun weekend sitting in your room by yourself playing video games because no one wants to hang out with you”. That is much more insulting than to just use a normal bad word.

I don’t advise that people just go around constantly spewing these words in every sentence like a Canadian hockey player chirping an American team from Minnesota. This would lead to a lot of unnecessary talking, a waste of time and it doesn’t make people sound smart. However, an occasional f bomb or something else should not lead to criticism from a teacher, and should be accepted as any other part of speech.