ProTeacher Community

ProTeacher Community (
-   Middle School/Jr High (6-8) (
-   -   Other How do I stop students from saying everything is "gay" (

cwoodoneida 04-26-2019 04:18 PM

How do I stop students from saying everything is "gay"
I constantly hear our middle schoolers say "that's gay" to everything and everyone they dislike. When I address it, they just increase the antagonizing and will then start defending what they called gay, saying that to them gay is a synonym for stupid or today I had a student just repeat the word "gay, gay, gay, gay" to me. I contacted his mom and she said he never uses the word in an offensive way at home and her child never swears at home (this student cannot go 10 minutes without swearing at school)

I am getting worn out on constantly trying to educate students on not using the word gay or homo to describe things. Administration does not care (they never hear it, so it must not be true that students are saying it)

Any suggestions?

Ima Teacher 04-27-2019 07:16 AM

I remind them that the words like gay and retarded are offensive to many people, and they cannot use them in my room. Period. It doesn’t matter that it is a synonym for stupid or not. They shouldn’t call things stupid either. If they insist on continuing to use them, I follow the school’s discipline matrix to enforce consequences.

seenthelight 04-27-2019 03:27 PM

My students are younger, but this happened in my classroom earlier this year. My reaction was to have a very serious conversation with them about how there are words out there that can seriously hurt people. If youíre using gay to signify stupid or lame, then you are implying gay people are stupid and lame. It is cruel, and in my classroom cruel language is much more serious than ďbadĒ words. Then I made sure they knew I meant business and my response to disobedience would involve fire and brimstone. I am a strict disciplinarian, but I pick my battles. By doing this, I have established that if itís a battle Iím picking, itís a battle I intend to win by any means necessary. Basically, donít call my bluff. My kids immediately stopped, and they reported it to me when another child in the grade level continued to use it. I came down on them hard and then told their teacher who also came down hard. Problem solved.

subasaurus 07-27-2019 08:11 AM

"Administration does not care"

They're a part of the problem too.

kahluablast 07-27-2019 08:53 AM

Back before "gay" became gay, I used it, too. I had a really hard time breaking myself of it. I also struggled to get "retarded" out of my vocabulary. I didn't mean them offensively, but... Nonetheless. Could be their parents use the words, too, but don't bother to break the habit. Or maybe they mean them offensively. :confused:

So, these kids are getting your goat. I suggest following Ima's suggestions and enforce consequences. They are doing it purposefully, it sounds. Can you get other staff members to have a discussion about this type of behavior?

Personally, I think in this day and age if admin doesn't care it is time to go higher. It is not okay and someone needs to make sure everyone knows that.

I haven't had an issue with this in my elementary school.

Tawaki 07-27-2019 10:43 AM

My best friend is 56 and used gay and retard all.the.damn.time.

You haven't lived until every eye is on you because he said (loudly) "This show is so gay, and that actor is a retard." I wanted to have the floor swallow me up.

I went totally ham on him. "You don't use the word, "Colored, boy or the n word" to describe people. Guess what? Gay and retard just joined that list. I'm sorry you didn't get the memo. It has to stop NOW. People judge you terribly if you use those words, and there are other words to use anyway."

He justified it just like your kids. The world is too PC. Too full of snowflakes. Blah blah blah. At least he doesn't do it around me anymore.

My DD schools have come down like a ton of molten lava if someone fires up either of those words. Last year on a class trip, one charmer yelled "That is so gay." Everyone turned around and instantly snuffed it out. So much so, my DD said the kid was in tears. (9th graders)

I find kids who use those words have parents, grandparents (probably this) or an above 40 age relative. I so rarely hear it used in that context, when it happens it is really jarring. Where my one SIL lives, I hear it more. It's a place stuck in the 1980s-1990s. Rural. Anyone who could got the heck out of there. It's not diverse at all. They don't generally care about any issues other than their little town. You hear someone called f-gget, gay or retard for stupid. It's beyond cringeworthy. I've mentioned it very very mildly in polite conversation, but I'm another one of the no fun PC police to them.

I think there are resources out there for elementary/middle schoolers on why those are considered hate words. In the adult world, you can lose your job over them if it's the wrong place wrong time.

I believe Autism Speaks has information about why one doesn't use the word retard anymore.

Don't quit fighting the good fight on this.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:54 PM.

Copyright © ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.