What the duck is wrong with profanity? Holy sheet, am I allowed to say that? Well it looks like I’m going to heel. But seriously, why is the use of explicit language viewed so negatively?
Profanity can be offensive and is not always the most appropriate language to use, especially in school. At KHS, the use of inappropriate language or gestures by a student is a level two offense on a scale of five. Consequences can range from one detention to three days of out of school suspension (OSS), depending on the number of offenses. For teachers, the consequence is determined by the school board and can include a simple disciplinary action or termination.
Termination or OSS seems a little extreme in some cases. There are even times I think the occasional curse word is beneficial. Part of a teacher’s job, as described by the Board of Education’s policy on student staff relations, is to create an atmosphere conducive to learning. For me, the use of explicit language makes the teacher seem more approachable and relatable.
When used in telling a funny story like Tim Harig so often does in his AP World History class or talking about personal experiences like Eric Hasselschwert does in any of his German classes, profanity can make a class more lighthearted. The teacher becomes more approachable which makes the class become more of a dialogue between students and teachers than a lecture. Plus, it’s always nice to have a good laugh to break up boring lessons like the unit on Mongols.
Not everyone is like me though, and there are still some limits as to what a teacher or student can say in a classroom environment. Teachers should try to remain impartial when teaching controversial subjects to allow students to form their own opinions. For students, insulting someone’s beliefs, personality, appearance or opinion should rightfully warrant a detention. Why it’s a level two offense still confuses me, especially when compared to academic dishonesty, which is only a level one.
As high schoolers, it’s safe to say we’ve all heard explicit language at some point in our lives, so it should come as no surprise when a teacher uses it too. It’s almost a sign of respect. It means they see you as adults who can handle the occasional use of profane language. So next time a teacher playfully insults you, just tell them to go fudge themselves. Actually, maybe don’t do that.