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BOTD 01-11 Did You Say What I Think You Said? A Kat Production

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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
Did You Say What I Think You Said?


You are the single parent of a 12-year-old son, Jagger. This evening Jagger gives you a letter from the vice principal of his middle school. The letter informs you that Jagger faces punishment for using ‘inappropriate language and/or profanity’. It requests your permission to administer corporal punishment (3 swats); the alternative punishment if you don’t agree is one day of in-school suspension. The letter also states that Jagger has been warned on a previous occasion for this offense, and on a second occasion, he was given detention.



Jagger 12

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When you question Jagger, he tells you,


“I wasn’t cursing. I was just using words that sound like curse words.”

It turns out that Mrs. Melman, the teacher on cafeteria duty, heard Jagger tell another kid, “Fork you!” Though she heard what he actually said, both she and the vice principal took the position it was still inappropriate. Jagger informs you he got the detention for telling another kid he was going to kick his ‘asteroid’. He doesn’t remember why he got the warning (or so he says).



Jagger gives you his best puppy dog eyes and says,



“Dad, please don’t sign that letter. I don’t want to get swats, and it’s not fair! I didn’t say any bad words! Can’t you go up to the school and tell them to fork off?”



Do you agree with Jagger, or will he be getting his butt ‘busted’ tomorrow?


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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
I'm will tell Jaggar that I'm with the school on this one. While I agree with the school adminstration on this type of rule skirting I will allow him to be the one to choose swats or the in-school suspension for one day.

I suppose Jaggar will feel a little put upon but it's a good lesson to learn for life.


(I wonder if I should tell him about the new rule that he gets a hand spanking for any day spent in ISS? Maybe when he gets home! Twisted Evil )


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AFinch


Sherrif
I'm sort of torn on this one. I think this is censorship. There are multiple successful companies nowadays with names that sound "inappropriate" by the school's standards (FCUK and Fuddruckers come immediately to mind).

Still, Jagger has been repeatedly warned and has continued to push the limits.

Jagger and I are going to have a talk about there being a time and place for things, about life not always, or even usually being fair, and about how when one is 12, sometimes one is at the mercy of seemingly humorless adults.

Then I'm going to give him his choice of taking the ISS or having me sign the CP slip--I don't think it's fair either, but I'm not going to rescue him from this situation.

Stone Man


Marshall
Skater wrote:(I wonder if I should tell him about the new rule that he gets a hand spanking for any day spent in ISS? Maybe when he gets home! Twisted Evil )

I like that idea, Skates. But I think I would tell him it was an "old" rule but had never had to be invoked before so that's why he didn't recall it. Razz

Slow learner this boy Jagger of mine. With first a warning and then a detention he should have been able to figure out that he should not be using profanity or a word that closely resembled it. Now he can choose which of the two punishments he wishes to receive. I will also advise him that if there is a next time and swats are the only option that I WILL sign the permission slip.

I'd prefer he not fight this particular battle as I don't see the importance of it to him. If he keeps trying to buck the school system I see him only losing in the end.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I can understand Jagger's argument very well because like him, I got in trouble for using sound-alike words at school (lines, rather than swats). Having also been a teacher, though, I now have more sympathy for the school's position on this issue. The school has to maintain good discipline. Permitting language that is offensive to many people causes problems. While Jagger hasn't used actual swear words/profanity, he has used language that deliberately sounds like or evokes certain words within the context he spoke them. The school has banned certain words as inappropriate because many find them rude or offensive. The 'innocent' words Jagger has used in place of the forbidden words are just as offensive and rude under the circumstances.

He had a warning and a detention, so he knew the school's position on this issue. I'm not going to support him in his attempt to play games with the rules.

I'm sorry, Jagger, but I'm signing the permission form. You don't need to be out of class in the waste of time that I consider in-school suspension to be. If you like, I'll insist on being present. What was that? No, you don't want me there? Well, okay. You will at least let me see the damage tomorrow evening... just to make sure that the vice principal didn't go over the top, of course.

Kat



Last edited by Kat on Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:30 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Need to spank the right BOTD!)

kalico


Sherrif
I agree that he should get something but I wont be signing the cp slip because I dont feel he deserves the swats as he did not use the actual bad words. So he will be doing ISS because this was not the first time.

my oldest tried this when she got in high school and used to say friggen/freaken instead of F***! I told her to watch it becuase someone will think she is saying the real word and that if she got caught at school then she would have to take the punishment. Twisted Evil

Kal

squarecutter


Sherrif
Hm. Nobody likes a smart alec and that I am afraid is what Jagger is being. No doubt he tried the same excuse on the teachers. I have to ask, would we accept this at home and in the context the words are being used in, I think probably not. Jagger has also had two warnings so it a matter of the schools authority, rather like persistent dress code violations. No, Jagger has pushed the boundaries and has been called on it. I will not get in the way though I realize that 3 swats will be quite a sharp lesson to learn. I wont follow up. The school ha acted and 3 whacks is quite enough

MemoryMan


Sherrif
“Dad, please don’t sign that letter. I don’t want to get swats, and it’s not fair! I didn’t say any bad words! Can’t you go up to the school and tell them to fork off?”

Jagger is being a smart-arse at school and now he's trying it on me.

Swats are the schools preferred remedy, iss is just an alternative.

"Now where did I put my pen?"

I will also inform him that any repeat smart-arse complaints will also be dealt with bare-arse at home

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ivor


Marshall
Unsurprisingly I do have a natural sympathy for Jagger in these circumstances for his ability to use language in this way. However, the school has deemed it inappropriate and he has already been warned and informed of the consequences for further infractions.

So I am going to take that slip downstairs to sign while leaving him my Finnish dictionary. What was that you said Jagger ....., 'Paska!'?

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

Skater


Bransom Postmaster
Kat wrote:I can understand Finn's argument very well because like him, I got in trouble for using sound-alike words at school (lines, rather than swats).

I'm sorry, Finn, but I'm signing the permission form. You don't need to be out of class in the waste of time that I consider in-school suspension to be. If you like, I'll insist on being present. What was that? No, you don't want me there? Well, okay.

Kat

Poor Finn, getting swats for what Jaggar said! Sad Finn's day keeps getting worse!
Razz


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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Skater wrote:
Kat wrote:I can understand Finn's argument very well because like him, I got in trouble for using sound-alike words at school (lines, rather than swats).

I'm sorry, Finn, but I'm signing the permission form. You don't need to be out of class in the waste of time that I consider in-school suspension to be. If you like, I'll insist on being present. What was that? No, you don't want me there? Well, okay.

Kat

Poor Finn, getting swats for what Jaggar said! Sad Finn's day keeps getting worse!
Razz

Oops! Embarassed Well, what do you expect when I'm half asleep?

Kat

Stone Man


Marshall
Kat wrote:Oops! Embarassed Well, what do you expect when I'm half asleep?

Kat

Well this explains the editing of your earlier post. I think Finn could use the extra swats, just at home and over my knee and with my hand rather then sending him back to his school with Jagger. lol!

Iconoclast


Trailboss
Jagger has come to the right person!! On hearing his story, I will grab my audio/video recording pen and go see the Principle. I will demand to see the school rules which forbid the use of such words as "fork" and "asteroid". If the principle can not show me such a rule I will demand he give me and my son a written apology acknowledging his wrongful attempt to punish my boy for NOT breaking a rule. If he does not I will start by publishing the You-Tube of my video, and then I will begin a campaign to de-fund the school or have him fired!!

Iconoclast

Zac


Wrangler
[Although it is not mentioned in the scenario it is implicit that if Jagger had used real expletives there is no question that I would sign my permission (even if Zac has reservations about it)]

I have the pen in my hand and I am very much minded to sign the letter. Jagger did have warnings but did not heed them. It might not have been profanity but it certainly could qualify as "inappropriate language". The problem with substitutes and sound-a-like words is that some of them can be too much like the actual forbidden words and can be misheard as those words (At Wimbledon in the early 80s well-known tennis player was probably penalised slightly more that he might have been for calling an umpire "this pits of earth" as the umpire thought he said "piss of the earth"). It is difficult to imagine how 'asteroid' could be misheard but  'fork' is far too close the f-word. Even if they are not misheard the intended words are quite obvious.

My pen is poised above the paper, ready to sign it, so what is staying my hand? I am worried that if I do so it might lead to a sheep and lamb situation. Everyone has stress words and Jagger has moderated his language but if he gets punished for using substitutes just the same as for using the real thing then there is really no reason for him to hold back on the expletives in the future. Also Jagger is the only one who has been skirting the rules; "inappropriate language" is a rather vague and catch-all term but I think is more intended to cover racial/sexual/religious slurs and that sort of thing rather than forks and asteroids.

So, what do I do? I keep the pen in my hand but push the unsigned waiver to one side and get out the writing paper (actually, I am more likely to start up the word processor) and write to the vice principal explaining that whilst I am generally very much inclined to give my permission for the corporal punishment but I need to know exactly what "inappropriate language and/or profanity" was used before I can decide either way. If I am satisfied with the reply from the school I will give my permission, but if I am not I will go along Jagger's "tell them to fork off" option in some way. Not literally but I will make disapproval known, point out how ridiculous they are being and insist they reconsider the matter. However, you should never underestimate the capacity for teachers or schools to be complete asteroid-holes so it might make no difference and the school will hold to Jagger to the swats or in school suspension. Unless I am prepared to escalate matters further Jagger will have to take his punishment but I will allow to choose which one and only sign the letter if he is willing to take the corporal punishment which probably unlikely in this scenario.

Y Lee Coyote


Cowboy
Iconoclast has it right. Fork is not a naughty word, period!

The judge will support the lawsuit because fork is a normal word (and expected in a cafeteria) and the school is out of bounds. I know of a case where a guy was busted for having a flag that was similar to the Stars and Stripes but with images of penises rather than stars for some sort of disrespect/desecration charge. The judge asked the cop to describe the Flag and then ruled it was not a flag in the eyes of the law as it did not have stars.

Y.


http://www.asstr.org/~YLeeCoyote/

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Y Lee Coyote wrote:Iconoclast has it right.  Fork is not a naughty word, period!

The judge will support the lawsuit because fork is a normal word (and expected in a cafeteria) and the school is out of bounds.   I know of a case where a guy was busted for having a flag that was similar to the Stars and Stripes but with images of penises rather than stars for some sort of disrespect/desecration charge.  The judge asked the cop to describe the Flag and then ruled it was not a flag in the eyes of the law as it did not have stars.

Y.



Isis flag with sex toys

Kat

Jack


Admin
It's interesting that I didn't reply to this one originally. I wonder what was up at that time?

Anyway, in answer to Icono (and Y Lee), there are plenty of rules that cover such incidents.

For instance,

(1.) Demonstrate courtesy and respect for others.
(2.) Behave in a responsible manner.

(7.) Respect the rights and privileges of other students, teachers, and other district staff.

(9.) Cooperate with or assist the school staff in maintaining safety, order, and discipline

As well as,

Engaging in verbal abuse (name-calling, ethnic or racial slurs, or derogatory statements addressed publicly to others)
that might precipitate substantial disruptions of the school program or incite violence.

The way I see it, not only is Jagger's continuing use of this language a direct challenge to the authority of the administrators who had already warned him that it was considered a violation. If Jagger had come to me at that point, we could have talked things out. If he'd had good reasons, I could have talked to the administration and tried to find a mid-ground. By hiding this from me until this point, he's greatly restricted my options.

The real thing that gets me though, and this is where the earlier rules come in, is that whatever he's actually saying, he's using sound alike words, not just as a way to get around the rules, but in a way that's provocative. Mrs. Melman might have heard 'fork', but what if the other kid heard something different, and a fight started?

I won't make him take the swats, but I will warn him that, if he takes ISS, our standard agreement still applies, and I'll hold him strictly responsible for getting his homework turned in on time and keeping abreast of everything.


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Y Lee Coyote


Cowboy
I agree that there are plenty of rules and that some of them may even proscribe the behavior that occurred.

However, the charge and punishment was for saying 'fork' not any of those other things.

We deal with what is not what might have been. What sort of civics lesson is it to say: "He's guilty, punish him, find the charge later." That is Alice in Wonderland or dictatorship stuff.

Y.

http://www.asstr.org/~YLeeCoyote/

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Plenty of room to argue about the scenario, but the charge is inappropriate language. I think that "fork you" is fine to say to one's friends -- not so much to an authority figure.

Kat

Jack


Admin
Sorry, Y Lee, but that's not what happened. Icono asked, and you supported him, in saying what rules prevented use of words like that. I showed you rules that prevented it. They might not be the rules you think they should be, but they are the rules that are in place in schools with which I'm familiar, and they are clear reasons that the way he was using the language could have been forbidden.


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Zac


Wrangler
Oh dear, what sleeping monster have I re-awakened?!?! affraid

Kat wrote:Plenty of room to argue about the scenario, but the charge is inappropriate language. I think that "fork you" is fine to say to one's friends -- not so much to an authority figure.

I totally concur on this. Often when it comes to 'inappropriate language' context is everything.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Zac wrote:Oh dear, what sleeping monster have I re-awakened?!?! affraid


Good to see some activity on BOTD. Been pretty quiet lately.

Kat

Y Lee Coyote


Cowboy
Jack,

You seem to delight in being explicitly offensive to me and changing the meanings of my words.  You even went as far as to question if I knew the meaning of a word I used just a couple of weeks ago.

The scenario, as several others have also noted, specified that the charge was  ‘inappropriate language and/or profanity’.   Calling 'fork yourself' that is asinine.  Please note that Kat said this between our two posts also.  I also said that there could be other rules but they were NOT the charge.  Perhaps they should have been but they were not.  We must deal with the charges as presented.

The rules that you quote are super vague and not appropriate to apply in the defined situation as they all can be applied in the reverse direction.

Y.

http://www.asstr.org/~YLeeCoyote/

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
It seems clear to me that it's now past time to agree to disagree. I don't think anyone is going to convince anyone else to change his position.

Kat

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