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How Do You Handle "Mature" Comments?

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daisygirl17 daisygirl17 is offline
 
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How Do You Handle "Mature" Comments?
Old 10-31-2012, 04:52 PM
 
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I could really use some advice. This is my second year in fourth grade. Last year's group of students were, honestly, a very good group of kids. Sure, we had our bumps but nothing I ever really lost sleep about. However, this year it is COMPLETELY different. I can deal with mean kids and can do what I can to prevent bullying. However, what is leaving me dumbfounded this year are the number of inappropriate and sexual comments. How do you handle these? The students making these comments are smart; none of the comments are made when I can hear them. However, my other students are reporting these to me and I'm not sure how to handle the situation to make these comments stop. I feel like I'm already having to be a tyrant because of the amount of misbehavior in my classroom. Out of my 26 students, there are four that for now - I have eating lunch in my classroom and staying in close proximity to me at recess for fear of continued comments being made about condoms and sex. Help!


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Oh Boy!
Old 10-31-2012, 05:43 PM
 
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Wow! I can see how you would be worried about this. I recently heard that some of my boys were saying "suck my balls and virgina", It was reported to me in an anonymous note and yes that it how it was spelled. The boys were saying it to each other all for a laugh. I can deal with this, but what you are dealing with is much worse. I think you should have a class meeting about appropriate school behavior.
Maybe you could do an anonymous note process too where the children write down what comments make them feel uncomfortable. In an effort to shield some children you may want to have an all girls meeting and then an all boys meeting. Do them at lunch if you have to. It wouldn't be so bad. Let me know if you try it and how it goes. Good Luck.
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Thanks!
Old 10-31-2012, 05:57 PM
 
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I like the idea of meeting with all girls and then all boys about what is appropriate school behavior. We already have the anonymous note procedure in place because I have a bully in my class who escalates quickly when he feels threatened or blamed. (He's also a student who is making the sexual comments.) I'll let you know how it goes!
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Gross!
Old 11-01-2012, 04:10 PM
 
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I had that class last year and am SO GLAD that they are gone! I remember reading a book that had the phrase "corny jokes" and my boys thought I said "horny jokes" and they came unglued to the point that I lost the whole lesson! I had to pull them out in the hall constantly to discuss that in mixed company they could not be so disgusting. I also sent them to the office as I felt it was horrible that my good kids had to be exposed to their filth. Those kids see that stuff somewhere, and it isn't at school. I could not make headway with any of their parents. They all blamed the other kids for exposing their precious kid to bad stuff. I hope your principal backs you up. I am super careful about what my own two boys watch and hear and then my 3rd grader comes home with a million questios this year due to a filthy mouthed table partner. Good luck protecting your kids this year!
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No suggestions...
Old 11-01-2012, 04:59 PM
 
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but I feel your pain. I taught fifth grade last year. My fourth graders this year have worse mouths than the fifth graders! I have one girl who is no longer allowed to have popsicles at lunch because she sucks them in a provocative way. The cafeteria aides banned her from eating any for the rest of the year. That was a fun phone call home. Today, the girls were calling each other lesbians...they are killing me.


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Ideas
Old 11-02-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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I think the class meeting with just girls and with just boys is a good idea. However, I would include a male (maybe the principal) at the meeting as well as yourself. I think it is important that the kids know the principal is aware of their poor choices.

Whatever you say to your students needs to be reinforced by the principal with his words and his body language.

I would also be contacting the parents of the students who are using the inappropriate language. They need to know that what they are saying at home/what others may be saying in the home or what they are allowing their children to watch are being repeated at school.

Don't you wish for the good-old-days when you could have washed out the child's mouth with soap??
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Thought it was just my fourth grade class
Old 11-02-2012, 07:11 PM
 
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I am also having the same trouble with my fourth grade class this year. I kept finding notes around class asking...will you go out with me and talking about sex. I assumed it was a girl to a boy or a boy to girl and had the dreaded class meeting about appropriate school behavior. I finally discovered I had four girls pretending to be lesbians.

Then a week later on the playground it was reported a couple of boys were telling the girls to "Suck their ****" I made numerous phone calls that day.

However I am thankful that I have a principal and parents that back me up. This is my first year in fourth grade and so far they are a handful.
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Lucky!
Old 11-02-2012, 07:16 PM
 
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I was told by my admin that unless I heard the comments, they would not punish the students. Seriously? My students are smart enough to know they shouldn't say that within earshot of adults!
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THat's what she said...
Old 11-03-2012, 08:54 AM
 
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I had a 4th grade boy (9) make a "That's what she said!" comment this week...and he said it in a context that you would actually make this comment (if you get what I mean, it wasn't just random)! I had no clue how to address it. He said it under his breath and then started laughing and I was not sure how to address it because he could deny it or he could be like "What does that mean?" or he could think I was a pervert for actually understanding what he met by it! I just looked at him and said "_______, that was inappropriate" and I walked away from him and moved on with the lesson. Not sure if that was the way to handle it, though! How would you have handled it, especially since I don't think anyone else heard it and if they did, they obviously did not get it! Is that something you tell the counselor or administrator about?
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:35 PM
 
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I agree with other PP and think it's important to have a meeting with the students, but I'd get the principal and counselor involved and do all of the talking to the students about this behavior. Some parents might be more than a little upset about a teacher discussing this with all of the students.


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Hold a class meeting!
Old 11-04-2012, 06:59 PM
 
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Have it soon, perhaps right after lunch. Most likely you'll have a comment you can share or refer to that is inappropriate.

This is what I would say:
"Several students have reported to me that certain students are making inappropriate comments about boys' and girls' body parts. It hasn't been just one or two students reporting these incidents, it has been several.

Obviously, these comments are making many people uncomfortable. We all know the comments aren't appropriate. People who make comments like these are trying to get attention and they say things for shock value. It's a very sad way indeed to get attention.

It doesn't make a person seem more mature or cool to say these things. It doesn't make a person look smart. Nasty talk gives a person a bad reputation. While seeing someone's shock might make you think you've earned respect, you've actually lost it. Most people don't want to hear talk like that. Saying such things can be taken as harassment. Harassment is unwanted attention that makes people feel uncomfortable. From the number of reports I've had, there are a lot students who are uncomfortable.

I don't take harassment lightly. Clean it up if you're talking like that. Keep reporting if you continue to hear it. I want to know who said what. Write the details in a note if you're uncomfortable repeating what was said. I am going to start calling parents. I will let parents know exactly what is being said. Don't think I won't. I am fairly certain parents would not be very happy with a such a phone call. I will also start sending students to the office.

I believe that as a class, we can fix this.

For those of you who are saying nasty things, remember you kiss your mother with that mouth, so make sure what is coming out of it is clean."

After the general discussion, talk to students individually if a new situation arises. A student has to admit saying whatever in order for you to write a referral, etc. When you have several students reporting the same kid, speak to the student privately and give him/her a chance to admit or deny. If you are fairly certain it's the kid, but he/she denies doing it, say that you have several students who say it's that student. Ask, "Are you saying they are all lying?" That usually does it. Occasionally, I will need to call one of the students out who is willing to report the incident face to face with the one who did it.

Don't worry about being a tyrant...some years are just like that. That was last year for me. Being consistent and tough really made a difference with last year's bunch. No I wasn't the favorite teacher at times, but I had tremendous breakthroughs with several kids. Remember it's your classroom and you have to look out for the group as whole and keep the class moving forward.

Last edited by SOTRainbow; 11-04-2012 at 07:22 PM..
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