“You…you…daffy daffy daffodil!”

I just love daffodils – what’s not to love? They are sunny yellow. Frilly petals. And the name…who can be angry when they say daffodil?

Which is why I instructed one of “my boys” (in a former life I worked as a school based mental health counselor) to substitute the word daffodil when he was angry for some of the more…. ah…colorful language he usually dished out.

That very afternoon he got ticked off at his teacher and blurted out in his full on angry voice, “You….you…daffy daffy daffodil!” He still got sent to the office. The teacher didn’t know what the “code” was but was certain that it meant something other than sunny yellow flowers. I explained WHY I suggested the word and that it was my desire to start with eliminating the R-rated language, and then we’d work on self-control. She wasn’t pleased and asked for punishment. Happily the principal recognized the baby step forward and with firm admonishment not to call his teacher a flower’s name again, he sent my boy back to class.

I guess if we were in England, however, that little outburst would be considered hate speech.  From LifeSiteNews:

Children as young as three years old are being recorded in a government database as “racist” or “homophobic” for using words that are construed by teachers as politically incorrect.

In 2008-9, 29,659 incidents were reported relating to children as young as nursery-school age, who are monitored under the Labor government’s “hate speech” regulations, according to figures obtained by the Manifesto Club, a civil liberties organization.

Approximately 95% of the cases of “hate speech” relating to school children involved name calling alone, without any physical contact or violence.

Incidents recorded included a student calling a fellow student a “broccoli head,” which was deemed racist, and another “homophobic” dispute between primary school children who called each other “gay” and “lesbian.” Another student was deemed homophobic for telling a teacher that an assignment was “gay.”

Ummm…two things on this.

1. Broccoli head!?! Racist?!? Srsly?!?

2. Now about “homophobic” primary school kids using the terms gay and lesbian – for the record 20 years ago, my ADD/ADHD/BD (add diagnosis du jour) boys whom I worked with at that elementary school were guilty of giving each other black eyes, breaking furniture, stealing,  cussing up a storm (I’m gonna guess daffodil might be hate speech, too – mea culpa) and a whole lot of hell raising, but they NEVER ever called each other “gay” or “lesbian.”  Ya wanna know why?

Because NO ONE HAD TAUGHT THEM.   Sexual orientation was NOT on their radar screen nor were the terms in their vernacular.  So here is my genius idea for cutting down on “homophobic hate speech” – stop teaching 3 year olds about lesbians! Presto! They will stop using that homophobic word! Can’t use it if you don’t know it! Just sayin’…..

No idea for the whole “broccoli head” thing – especially if the school is serving it up all soggy and sans salt….blech!

Linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

 

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6 Responses

  1. (Trying this post without links) I did some research on the whole “bullying” thing a while back for a blog post I haven’t gotten around to making yet. Those doing real research say the single significant predictor for being bullied is being overweight. 50% of heavy kids are bullied at some time in grade school, 62% of kids who are bullied get picked on because of the way they look or the way they talk.

    Science Daily last year wrote “Obese children are more likely to be bullied regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status, social skills or academic achievement.”

    And most of them are saying the bullying tends to stop once kids get out of elementary or middle school – it “peaks” by 6th grade. I guess as both bully and victim start to grow up, the victim usually learns to no longer fear the bully, and the bully usually learns that nobody likes a bully.

    Yet near as I can tell, both the media and activist educators never talk about “obesity” and “bullying” in the same articles. Weird.

  2. I’ve been shocked by this story too. I don’t recognize England any longer. This can’t be the land of Winston Churchill and Margret Thatcher.

  3. Our school district has mandatory “anti-bullying” curriculum in our elementary schools that includes teaches children about homosexuality. I just don’t see how it can result is less bullying for sexual orientation.

    • During my years in the schools, I have seen (and taught) many anti-bullying programs. Nice banners, nifty slogans, but I didn’t see any that had actual impact. How the administration, teachers, and parents worked together (or didn’t) impacted bullying – with or without a program.

      I’m on board with you in wondering how on earth is this going to help. This reminds me so much of the early years of the anti-drug program that actually increased drug abuse by teaching kids about huffing in areas that hadn’t yet been exposed to it.

  4. Yea!

    Laughing at the last re broccoli.

    In all seriousness, I saw this and laughed the other day. You’re absolutely right. What kids are *taught* influences what kids say. As for preschoolers using “gay” as a slur–I remain awed by how much kids pick up from older kids that parents don’t pick up automatically.

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