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BOTD 10-25-2016 An Outbreak of Almost Bad Language - Feckless Felix - A Kat Production

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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
An Outbreak of Almost Bad Language: Feckless Felix
A Kat Production

Mr. Peterson has sent Felix (age 14) to you, the vice principal of Hillcrest Middle School. After Felix showed up for class late for the third time this week, Mr. Peterson sarcastically congratulated him on earning a mandatory referral in such a short time period. (School policy requires an office referral for the third tardy in the same class in a six weeks period.) As he was writing out the referral, Mr. Peterson told Felix he was feckless. Felix’s reply: “Well, feck you!” Of course, Mr. Peterson added that to the referral.

When you question Felix, he shrugs and says, “He started it! I don’t see why I should get in extra trouble just for repeating a word he used.”

The usual punishment for a tardiness referral is detention, though you have discretion to give a warning or give swats, depending on the student’s attitude and previous record. This is Felix’s first referral for tardiness.

Felix - 14
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What do you do with Felix?


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AFinch


Sherrif
He can serve detention, and look up and report on the meaning of "feckless". And honestly, any middle school teacher who uses that word deserves the response he got.

As an aside, physicians ALWAYS write that a wound that is full of pus is "purulent" rather than a similar word for the very reason Mr. Peterson should have chosen a different "compliment".

David M. Katz


Marshall
AFinch wrote:He can serve detention, and look up and report on the meaning of "feckless".  And honestly, any middle school teacher who uses that word deserves the response he got.

As an aside, physicians ALWAYS write that a wound that is full of pus is "purulent" rather than a similar word for the very reason Mr. Peterson should have chosen a different "compliment".

As usual I cannot add to Kier's wisdom.


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18Smacked


Wrangler
I am puzzled as to what Mr. Peterson’s purpose in using such a rarely used word with a 14 year-old boy would be; did he believe that Felix was likely going to know what the word meant? If so, he was really demonstrating just how out of touch he is with the population he is there to teach!

I agree; detention is the appropriate remedy for this offense, and education for Mr. Peterson.

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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
In Mr. Peterson's defense, the word 'feckless' popped up several times during the vice presidential debate. Razz As someone who has taught, I'd argue that if teachers only use words their students know, we'll end up with a population who have impoverished vocabularies. A teacher should raise the students' level of diction rather allowing them to drag his down, IMO.

Kat

AFinch


Sherrif
While I don't disagree about expanding vocabulary, I'd argue that "feckless" and "niggardly" (which has prompted teacher firings in some locations by idiots who have no clue of its meaning and school boards who support those idiots--we live in Idiocracy, sadly) are not words that are good choices, especially in a middle school setting.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
AFinch wrote:While I don't disagree about expanding vocabulary, I'd argue that "feckless" and "niggardly" (which has prompted teacher firings in some locations by idiots who have no clue of its meaning and school boards who support those idiots--we live in Idiocracy, sadly) are not words that are good choices, especially in a middle school setting.

Perhaps it was a little feckless. Laughing

My math teacher told me I'm feckless --
An insult both unjust and reckless.
       I feck night and morn
       I'm so fecking worn.
I feck so damn much, I should feck less.

Kat

ivor


Marshall
Perhaps it is a good thing Felix doesn't have freckles, although he might well have been quite happy to be freckles. Smile

On the other issue I'd be pretty sure I did know the meaning of that word by the time I was 14, but then that was a pretty long time ago...........

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Jack


Admin
I had to think about this one for a bit, because of an issue that most people haven't addressed.

To me, either Mr. Peterson said this allowed to Felix where the class could hear it, or he said it quietly, because Felix was standing next to him as he wrote the referral. While I don't support Felix answering back to his teacher, I also don't support teacher's insulting or degrading students. Unless I know that Mr. Peterson's comment was quiet, while Felix response was to the entire class, I'm going to consider this a wash.

I'm also a bit worried about why Felix is being late. Unless this is the first week of school, he's managed to not get a tardy referral, then suddenly earns one in a week? Maybe he's just playing around between classes, but I want to at least check for a problem.

Having cleared that out of the way, we'll just handle him the normal way. If I were the VP in this situation, he'd have his choice between two swats or a detention, but if detention is normal, that's what he gets.


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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with Jack. If we're going to criticize the teacher, it should be for his sarcasm rather than his word choice.

First, I'd ask Felix if he knows what 'feckless' means. Even if he can't define 'feckless', I'm curious as to whether he really thought Mr. Peterson was using inappropriate language. If he did, the proper response was to report Mr. Peterson -- not to engage in kind. As an administrator, I take complaints against teachers seriously and act on them when necessary. I'd caution Mr. Peterson against sarcasm and suggest an apology.

I don't want to foster an attitude among the students that provocation is a justification for retaliation. Either Felix thought he was being funny or he was inexcusably disrespectful to a teacher. Either way, he owes Mr. Peterson an apology. If Felix convinces me he was trying for humor, the apology will suffice. If he meant to be rude, he can either serve a second detention for his rudeness or opt for two swats instead. He's getting detention for the tardiness unless there is some unknown factor.

Kat

squarecutter


Sherrif
Does Felix have Irish blood in him? Unless I am mistaken feck as a word does not actually exist and is merely an Irish pronunciation. I will ask Felix to look up feckless and then tell me whether Feck and feckless really are the same thing. in my view, to tardiness Felix has added poor language and is being a smart ass. The not so smart ass part of Felix is getting paddled and he can spend detention copying the dictionary definition of Feckless 50 times

Adric


Kid
Merriam-Webster =>

"Someone feckless is lacking in feck. And what, you may ask, is feck? Feck is a Scots term that means "effect" or "majority" and comes from an alteration of the Middle English effect. So something without feck is without effect, or ineffective. In the past, feckful (meaning "efficient," "sturdy," or "powerful") made an occasional appearance. But in this case, the weak has outlived the strong: feckless is a commonly used English word, but feckful has fallen out of use."

(I knew what it meant, but now I know even better.)

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