January 27, 2008
When I hear an offensive word, I just politely say, 'language please' to the individual. Normally, the student will immediately apologize. If I have time to continue the conversation I may add, 'remember that a good vocabulary is a sign of great intelligence. Show me how smart you are and find some alternatives to those adjectives.' I say these things in a smiling, teasing sort of way and get very good responses from high school kids. If someone is belligerent or in my face, I normally will ask them politely if they want to take care of it now or if we need to invite the principal in for a discussion about vocabulary choices. It's only once in a blue moon that I am taken up on the second option. Our school policy is that swearing intentionally without stopping after a reminder equals in-school suspension. Swearing repeatedly with intent to upset people, and/or swearing at a staff member results in automatic out-of-school suspension.