The Tawdry Brits...............

John blueoval at 1SMARTISP.NET
Thu Sep 1 20:31:16 MDT 2005

29/08/05 - News section

You can use the f-word in class (but only five times)

A secondary school is to allow pupils to swear at teachers - as 
long as they don't do so more than five times in a lesson. A 
running tally of how many times the f-word has been used will be 
kept on the board. If a class goes over the limit, they will be 
'spoken' to at the end of the lesson.

The astonishing policy, which the school says will improve the 
behaviour of pupils, was condemned by parents' groups and MPs 
yesterday. They warned it would backfire.

Parents were advised of the plan, which comes into effect when 
term starts next week, in a letter from the Weavers School in 
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

Assistant headmaster Richard White said the policy was aimed at 15 
and 16-year-olds in two classes which are considered troublesome.

'Tolerate but not condone'

"Within each lesson the teacher will initially tolerate (although 
not condone) the use of the f-word (or derivatives) five times and 
these will be tallied on the board so all students can see the 
running score," he wrote in the letter

"Over this number the class will be spoken to by the teacher at 
the end of the lesson."

Parents called the rule 'wholly irresponsible and ludicrous'.

"This appears to be a misguided attempt to speak to kids on their 
own level," said the father of one pupil.

Should have do's and don'ts

Nick Seaton, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: 
"In these sort of situations teachers should be setting clear 
principles of 'do and don't'.

"They should not be compromising in an apparent attempt to please 
the pupils. This will send out completely the wrong message.

"Youngsters will play up to this and ensure they use their five 
goes, demeaning the authority of the teacher."

Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said the policy was based on 'Alice in 
Wonderland reasoning'.

"What next?" she asked. "Do we allow people to speed five times or 
burgle five times? You don't improve something by allowing it, you 
improve something by discouraging it."

'Praise postcards'

The 1,130-pupil school, which was criticised as 'not effective' by 
Ofsted inspectors last November, also plans to send 'praise 
postcards' to the parents of children who do not swear and who 
turn up on time for lessons.

Headmaster Alan Large said he had received no complaints about the 
policy. "The reality is that the fword is part of these young 
adults' everyday language," he said.

"As a temporary policy we are giving them a bit of leeway, but 
want them to think about the way they talk and how they might do 

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©2005 Associated New Media

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