"Nerd Day"-- my thoughts

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by cali*teacher, Feb 9, 2014.

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  1. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    I am not comfortable with schools having a "Nerd Day" dress up day at schools. It seems counter productive against anti-bullying. I don't see how singling out a group of people and mocking them is really a positive thing for anyone. Sure it's all in good "fun", but who's to say some students don't feel the sting from this kind of activity. I read on one online forum where a mother's Boys Scout member son came home from a school "Nerd Day" upset because some boys were wearing Boys Scout uniforms as their "nerd" outfit. It just does not seem like an overall positive thing, and has the potential to be hurtful for some, as in the case of the Boy Scout. I am very strongly for schools being anti-bullying zones, and making a day where you mock and have at least what was once a derogatory term (and still is in some contexts) be the label of the day just seems the anti-thesis of anti-bullying.
     
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  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I agree that it is making fun of a certain group.
     
  4. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    What grade do you teach?

    In high school we had all sorts of "dress up days", and Nerd day was one of them. People literally dressed the nerdiest they could and really went to the extreme where they really didn't look like anyone... probably Bill Nye more than anything.

    My college had activities very similar.

    I don't think it promotes bullying anymore so than Halloween does, but that's just my opinion as someone who has participated in it. We actually had ours for our Student Togetherness week and to promote the academic games that took place that following week.

    By your post I am thinking this student you read about must be in middle school? If so, I don't think themed days like nerd day are appropriate because most students aren't mature enough to handle it.
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We call it Einstein Day. It's not my favorite.
     
  6. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    It's not my favorite, either. One problem in high school is that students want to be like what their older friends in sororities and fraternities, which tend to be really off-color, so we have to reject at least half of the suggestions they have for dress up days.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I completely agree with you. I think it is inappropriate.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Definitely inappropriate. I'd have a big problem with this, to the point that I would probably email parents to express my concern over it.
     
  9. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I've seen schools call it "suspenders and glasses day". But in the end, it's still the same thing.
     
  10. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I bring this up every single year at my school when it happens. Nobody else seems to get the issue. I suppose being a nerd in middle school myself lets me see how ridiculous it is.

    I've decided to just own it. Instead of the "Urkel" nerd look I go full on geek and wear every sci fi or video game clothing I own (and my Yoda backpack.) If my school is going to say its ok to mock a group then I'm going to prove their mockery doesn't have to have power over anyone.
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I've never seen this at any school I've attended or served as a teacher. I could totally see this turning into bullying, with certain kids being told, "Hey, is this your big holiday?"
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    It hasn't stopped any of my students from fully expressing their nerd-dom on a regular basis, but that could be because at our school the majority happen to be nerds, geeks or some other thing. I directly confront those who use 'nerd', 'geek', 'fruity', or 'dork' in a derogatory way. Our school is very much a geek haven and almost everyone is a gamer geek, an anime geek, a nerd, a sci-fi lover, or something else. We have one student who is absolutely fascinated with everything Russian, and wears VERY Russian outfits every day at school. He even sang the Russian National Anthem at the talent show. I love my school.
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    That sounds like a unique school, Peregrin! I hate the idea of a nerd day for most other schools because 'nerd' is a pejorative term. Would the school have an a-s-s-hole day? I think not.
     
  14. RadiantBerg

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    Well, believe it or not, we have had a "jock" day as well if that counts for anything.
     
  15. Go Blue!

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    I guess we are the only two, but yeah, I'm not bothered by these types of events at all. All in good fun, in my opinion.
     
  16. BumbleB

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    I dislike nerd day for the reasons expressed. We had Zombie Day, but I'm pretty sure we weren't making fun of anyone with that one ;)

    This year, the student council wanted to do "Gender Swap" day, where boys dress like girls and girls dress like boys. I quickly spoke up about that one...I had a transgendered student (who often wore clothing more suited to the opposite sex to school) last year. It's the way that many people live (and must suffer through), not something to be made into a "fun" spirit day.
     
  17. orangetea

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    I'm surprised so many schools have a nerd day. I hate the idea.
     
  18. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I think it's a horrible idea. I can easily picture someone telling another kid "Hey, do you like my nerd outfit? I made sure to dress just like you do every day to be sure I really look like a nerd." or something along the lines of what Cat said about someone saying to a student it's "their" day. I see no need at all for this dress up day.
     
  19. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    It's all in good fun for a SCHOOL to promote teasing a group of students?! Seriously?
     
  20. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I don't think they're trying to promote teasing ... and I'm going to leave it at that because I see people are quite sensitive about this one.
     
  21. JustMe

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    We never had a nerd day when I was high school and the closest we had that featured a certain group or population was hillbilly day. Students would drive their tractors to school and non-farming kids would go over the top with the overalls and plaid. Honestly, I think it's all...silly.

    I've seen others host a nerd day and I honestly hadn't given it much thought. I can see where it would be bothersome to some. Basically you have to consider if it would be appropriate for a SCHOOL to host a jock day, prep day, goth day, emo day, and so forth...
     
  22. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    A majority of schools are not in the habit of promoting "teasing". Last time I checked just because you dress up like someone that doesn't mean you're making fun of them.

    I'm sure students who dress up on Go Texan day aren't making fun of cowboys or on Zombie day students aren't making fun of zombies. Most kids just like any opportunity to dress up and probably don't give a second thought to what the actual theme is.
     
  23. 3Sons

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    "Cowboy" and "Zombie" haven't been historically pejorative terms, though, so I'd say it's pretty clearly different.

    If "nerd day" is such a good idea, how about:

    1. Fat day?
    2. Ugly kid day?
    3. Mentally handicapped day?
     
  24. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    As somebody that was considered a nerd in high school, I fully expect that a nerd day would have been a really awful day for me.

    And yes, if you dress the way that a classmate dresses on NERD DAY, that is trying to make fun of them.
     
  25. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Exactly.
     
  26. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Ooooh. So many things I want to say in response to this but I know I'll get flamed like crazy, so I won't touch it.

    I'll cop out and say I politely disagree.

    Why? Why would it have bothered you? Was it an insecurity issue? I'm curious.
     
  27. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    It would have bothered me because I would have faced even more bullying and teasing than I already dealt with on a day-to-day basis.
     
  28. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    How would you have felt about jock day or a different type of dress up theme? Would you have felt uncomfortable during all of them?

    Or are you opposed to all of them?
     
  29. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Generally, being a jock is considered a good thing. I somehow doubt that many jocks would have faced much in the way of bullying on jock day.
     
  30. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Although with that said, if people who were considered jocks in school did feel bullied along those lines, then of course those days should be cancelled as well.

    I won't comment on other dress-up days like cowboy or zombie days, for what I hope are obvious reasons.
     
  31. dgpiaffeteach

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    Our other dress themed days include dress like a friend day aka twin day, superhero day, crazy hat day, among others. None of those make fun of a group of people.
     
  32. greendream

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    I agree with you. It's a light-hearted dress-up day that people are getting way too worked up about.
     
  33. Pashtun

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    This right here. Don't quite get how some people don't understand that this is a pejorative term. Nerd day is about making FUN/Teasing the image of nerds, which each school has in their student body. They are not putting it on a pedestal and saying how cool it is, they are putting it down and making fun of it.
     
  34. Pashtun

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    I don't think it is light hearted to make fun of a specific population that exists in your school body.
     
  35. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    This all reminds me of the "It's a culture not a costume" movement in relation to different ethnicities. We have had to reject Hip Hop Day (dress like black people day, basically) and some similar themes. Our students see their friends in college having theme parties with themes that are off color at best, and want to copy them. That said, we do have Nərd Day sometimes and I do not participate or encourage participation.
     
  36. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Honestly, I've never understood organized dress-up days to show school spirit. Wear school colors and paint your mascot on your face. When I was a student, I loved Halloween because the students went a little crazy with costumes, and one of the Geometry teachers would set up a photo booth in his classroom (he was a professional photographer on the side). THAT was fun because we all got to show off our individuality.
     
  37. greendream

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    So you're saying some students are nerds?
     
  38. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I am saying their is a nerd stereotype and that students tease and categorize classmates based on it.

    Are you saying their is no such thing as a nerd stereotype and that some students are not made fun of because of it?
     
  39. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Some are certainly treated that way and bullied for using that term.
     
  40. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    NERDS will rule the world! :D

    Yes, there are nerds, jocks, hipsters, stoners, etc in schools. Grouping and stereotyping happens in all societies and communities.

    In some school cultures being the NERD is popular. Other times they are teased and resented because they make the others look bad academically. Knock them down, they won't do as well.

    However, I don't think that having NERD day is a good idea. Singling out any one group is not a good thing. No one would have stoner day or jock day. Why have NERD day? Is it to try to elevate them? Often trying to elevate a group rarely brings positive attention to them.

    Our schools have decade days where the different grades dress as people in those decades. So, 80s have the big hair and the outrageous clothes. 50s have the poodle skirts and the leather jackets.
     
  41. greendream

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    It sounds like you have certain students in mind when you use the term "nerd." I bet if you asked those students, they wouldn't consider themselves nerds, and thus would not be offended by a "nerd day," because they don't believe it applies to them.

    So basically, I think you're the one applying the negative stereotype.
     
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