'Racist' children accused of bigotry after name-calling

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michael admin
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'Racist' children accused of bigotry after name-calling

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Teachers are branding thousands of children racist or homophobic following playground squabbles.

More than 20,000 pupils aged 11 or younger were last year put on record for so-called hate crimes such as using the word ‘gaylord’.

Some of them are even from nursery schools where children are no older than three.

One youngster was accused of being racist for calling a boy ‘broccoli head’ and another was said to be homophobic for telling a teacher ‘this work is gay’.

Two primary school children were reported for homophobia after quarrelling over a rubber and calling each other ‘gay’  and ‘lesbian’.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2037050/Racist-children-accused-bigotry-calling.html?ITO=1490

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Nursery schools?!  DS is 6 and I don't think he even knows the words gay or lesbian, let alone what they might mean or that they could be used as a misguided insult. 

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I don't really see how 'broccoli head’ can be racist or 'this work is gay’ as being homophobic - doesn't "everyone" know that in that context it has another meaning! 

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But surely the argument is that by using the word in that way it is harnessing a word that should just be a statement of fact and giving it negative connotations?

If my child used the word "gay" to describe something bad or negative I would pick them up on it and ask them not to use it in that way again, as it could be offensive to some people who might call themselves "gay".  However, I don't think for one minute that a child of such a young age would actually understand why it was wrong, and could be accused of being homophobic.

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The word gay means happy, it's just been corrupted by modern language. The teachers need to get a grip and reality and stop being bigots themselves

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But in this instance ( "this work is gay") I don't think they meant that the work was happy!

I completely agree that this whole news story is ridiculous and OTT, but I can also see reasons to discourage use of such words being used to describe something negative.

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I do think teachers over react and the genuine racism etc gets missed.
In my experience a lot of reports about racism etc aren't genuine, but an attempt by person(s) to get someone into trouble, as a result teachers look out for any remarks and jump on them when in all honesty they were just children playing

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The english language is evolving.  Continually.  There was a time when 'gay meant something else entirely I'm sure.  Now it is slang for homosexual and ALSO means 'naff' with young people.

 

Lots of words carry two meanings. 

My kids aren't homophobic, they wouldn't use 'homosexual' as an insult.  But common useage and continual hearing means that occasionally 'gay' gets used in my house. Sometimes I pounce, sometimes I let it pass - but it's not a homophobic use, it's an evolving speech use.  I also hear 'well good' instead of 'very' good and 'like' a lot.

They don't say 'don't be homosexual' - and they don't mean it.  Gay is deriving it's own meanings through useage, just as all other words do, and just as it did half a century or more ago when it was appropriated to use as slang for homosexual.  It's now not really slang for homosexual in the same way at all (there are other words for that!) and 'the youf' use 'gay' as an adjective rather than a noun.

I feel very strongly about the over sensitive pc'ness that we are forcing upon our children.  I am totally against istness, but I feel that taking it too far in the other direction, positive discrimination, is also istness.

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I totally agree Corris.   The teachers are way over the top on this one IMHO.   Children of that age aren't capable of being racist or homophobic etc etc.   They don't the maturity to understand the negative connotations of the words they are slinging about as insults.  It's a shame some kids even know those words but unfortunately they do.   What they need is taking to one side and having it explained to them.

ursh x

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Christiesgal wrote:
I totally agree Corris.   The teachers are way over the top on this one IMHO.   Children of that age aren't capable of being racist or homophobic etc etc.   They don't the maturity to understand the negative connotations of the words they are slinging about as insults.  It's a shame some kids even know those words but unfortunately they do.   What they need is taking to one side and having it explained to them.

ursh x

That's what I was trying to say :) 

Children learn that the word "gay" = naff, and probably the vast majority don't have a clue why it could be offensive.  I'd want to explain and ask them not to use it, but I certainly wouldn't class them as homophobic.

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But Ursh in the vast majority of cases that's precisely what IS happening, the teacher, or more usually the TA having a quiet, gentle and understanding word. Yes, it is then recorded as there's a legal obligation to do so, but children are not (in my experience in several schools) being strung up and castigated because they called someone gay.

And also in my experience, most decent teachers know when to overlook something and when to have a word, for example most that i know would not take too much notice of someone saying work was gay but would intervene if a pupil was called gay (as an insult)

Broccoli hair sounds like a variation on nappy head to me... a term I would object to, personally... it would depend on the context really as to whether it was meant racially or not, but it could quite easily have been intended as a racial insult. Equally it could have been totally innocent. Who knows? It's certainly creative!

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