"Stupid" as a bad word?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by waterfall, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Do people teach this? I was reading aloud yesterday and the word "stupid" was in the book. As soon as I read it, the students all gasped and had shocked looks on their faces with several making comments on how they can't believe I said that. I had to stop and convince them that although of course you should never call someone or yourself stupid, because that's mean, it's certainly not a "cuss word." They had literally been taught that it's equal to a four letter swear word in 2nd grade. Is this common?
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Students finding the word stupid to be a terrible thing to say is common. I'm not sure that teachers teaching that it is a bad word is common.
     
  4. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    It was never a word I liked to hear, so I have to say that I discouraged my own children from saying both that and 'shut up.'
     
  5. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I also had this happen the first year I taught third grade. I don't think I've noticed it much after that though.
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I classify words like "stupid" as "mean words." They are not bad words insofar as they would change the MPAA rating of a movie, but would be mean or rude if used in a certain context.

    I think it's a very important lesson for kids to learn that certain words, used in certain context, are not very nice but in other contexts are just fine.
     
  7. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I don't use the word in my classroom, instead I use the word "silly". But I certainly don't teach that it's a curse word!
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This is probably why kids think both expressions are 'bad words'...they've been told at home that it's not nice, not to say it. Teachers aren't teaching that they are 'curse words':rolleyes:
     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    It's an "s" word! as in "He said the 'S' word!" The kids consider it a bad word, just like "shut up" or "sh*t".
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    'hate' is another one.
     
  11. sahmof2

    sahmof2 Rookie

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    I have told my own kids that stupid is not a bad word. It is a word that grown ups can use because kids do not know how to use it properly. It can make someone feel bad.
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Many children are not allowed to say words like stupid, dumb, or hate at home. I just say that they aren't very nice words, and that we shouldn't say them in our classroom. If they come up in a read-aloud (thank you, Junie B!), I just read them without flinching.
     
  13. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Yes, definitely. My preschoolers all gasp and look like a felony has been commited when someone says "that word."
     
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  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    This is a good time for the students to learn the difference between "rude" words and "bad" words. I let them know that there are bad words that should never be said. There are other words that are not bad and are okay to say when reading aloud, but often are rude and not nice to say to others. These are rude words. This is a good lesson for 3rd grade. Some of the rude words I include are: stupid, shut up, and idiot.
     
  15. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    The premise of this thread makes me somewhat unhappy.

    Banning words does not make children polite and respectful. Teaching children to be polite and respectful makes them polite and respectful.

    If a child came to me and said "The stupid shoelace on my shoe broke" I would not even go so far as to correct them. The same for "I hate PT Cruisers, they look so dumb."

    Even "shut up" should get a pass now and then. If a little girl is being teased or made fun of, and responds by saying "shut up" to the kids teasing her, is she being rude or just doing what she can to stand up for herself? Whenever a child tells me that another child told them to shut up, the first thing I do is find out what was said that prompted the "shut up." Quite often, the student was told to "shut up" after initially saying something far worse.
     
  16. Resentful

    Resentful Rookie

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    I was talking to a coworker who does before school tutoring. There was a second grader who was supposed to doing his work. I was telling her something was stupid. I forgot what. Not a person. He pops his head up and said "Stupid is a bad word". I didn't care that he thought stupid was bad word, but it annoyed me he was ease dropping. We were whispering and not that close to him. I just ignored him and his teacher gave him the look.
     
  17. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I agree with Sarge. I try to teach my kids about these words, not just ban them without explanation. I talk about how we have changed the meaning of words. I use retarded correctly in science (for example talking about how using our "acid" rain [vinegar and water mixed] has retarded the growth of the plant). We talk about the real meaning of those words. We talk about other words like stupid, hate, dumb, etc and how their meaning depends on how we use them. One that gets under my skin is crap. I try to talk to them about finding better words that truly show how they feel. I also show that we make mistakes. I have a serious phobia about roaches. Not a fear...a phobia. (Not all roaches, just the water ones we get down here. The giant black ones. My heart is racing just typing that.) A couple of years ago there was one in my classroom. My kids know if they see one, kill it, and get rid of the body, there is a bounty to be had. Well, this one came out of no where, scared the kids, and I tried to be a grownup. That lasted all of 2 seconds. It headed towards me. I jumped over a chair and landed on a desk. "Crap" flew out of my mouth before I could think about it. One of the kids ran and got one of the other teachers who used my illegal stash of Raid to kill it and get rid of it. Only after it was over did I realize what I had said. We talked about it and the kids even offered suggestions of what I could have said instead. I appologized to them for it. They were much more concerned at laughing at the way I cleared the chair and landed on the desk.
    With the words, I think it's important for them to have an understanding of what they really mean and how we should or shouldn't use them.
     
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  18. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Agree with Sarge and Christy.
    If a child comes tattling that so and so said STUPID, it becomes a lesson in how to use the word.
     
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  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Kids do find it to be a very strong word. It is also considered a bad word to Mexicans, especially Mexicans in Mexico (not sure if it is found offensive to Mexicans in the states like it is here), so I would never say that word in front of them.
     
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  20. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    On that same note, it makes me wonder how many Hispanic, specifically Mexican, children you have in class. Mexican children could very well be learning from home that "stupid" is a bad word. Especially if their parents are first generation Mexicans in the country. Just food for thought.
     
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  21. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I do have many hispanic students, however these kids told me specifically that their 2nd grade teacher told them it was a "cuss word just like the d or f word." I agree with some of the earlier posters in that I think it's wrong to incorrectly tell kids it's a "cuss word" and leave it at that. One, it doesn't teach them the greater lesson of why you shouldn't use the word in certain contexts, and two one of my biggest pet peeves is when people lie to kids in some sort of effort to "protect" them. When they figure it out you lose their trust. If it's something I legitimately can't talk about with a child, I simply say that rather than making up a lie.
     
  22. samuktha

    samuktha New Member

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    No no stupid is a not cuss word.... this s not a bad word too...This s common word people always used to say this to them crony
     
  23. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    A kindergartener told me once that another student said the "K" word. After thinking and coming up with nothing, I asked the student it was a word he was allowed to say. He whispered, "He said kiss!" :)
     
  24. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Kids have also told me that stupid was a bad word (I used the word as part of a story and they were SHOCKED). Then again, I was also told not to use it growing up!
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I certainly don't disagree with you. I just thought it was worth it to mention that this is a cultural difference in that in the Mexican culture they do deem the word as a bad word.
     
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  26. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    I know this post is old, but had to smile when I read this. We were raised that inanimate objects could be called :stupid, but it was mean to call a person stupid. I will never forget being in a huge auditorium where Spanish was the 1st language of most. A presenter, who had come from up north, could not get her projector to work and in the microphone said, " I'm sorry! I can't get this stupid thing to work." The gasps of many and silence of others made me extremely aware not to ever use that word again! :)
     
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  27. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Definitely not the best word choice, especially for that audience!
     
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  28. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I just explain to the kids that stupid is not a bad word it's just not a nice word. We shouldn't use it at school.
     
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  29. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    No kidding! :) For a long time kids there would tell me a kid used a "bad word" and like a moron, I'd ask, "What letter did it start w/?" When it was the "S" word, I assumed they'd said, "SH__, but looking back, it could have been the word stupid. :)
     
  30. Dev Garg

    Dev Garg New Member

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    I always ask students to don't use these words and motivate them to be good speaker and the reason is not about the adultery or something. it's the reason that they are not wise enough to understand how to use.
     
  31. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    It is indeed a very bad word in Spanish!
     
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  32. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Glad for the confirmation as I had been told why it was a bad word from Spanish speakers. I wasn't sure if it was just regional or what! ;)
     
  33. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Here's an interesting blurb from a blog post entitled, "11 Things You Should Never Say To A Mexican, Ever":

    "
    ‘Estupido’ (stupid)
    I’m sure you can think of many more offensive words in English than stupid. But the Spanish equivalent, “estupido,” is much more powerful and shouldn’t be used lightly. Never call anyone else “estupido” and avoid using it in any context, even when referring to yourself and those stupid little mistakes we all make from time to time."

    https://theculturetrip.com/north-am...hings-you-should-never-say-to-a-mexican-ever/
     
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  34. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Saying it is not a bad word is incorrect. What might be more accurate to say is that you personally do not regard it as a bad word. In some cultures it is; How one views that word depends on their cultural lens. It is an offensive word, and in some cultures it is also regarded as a bad or obscene word.
     
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  35. MellowMoon

    MellowMoon Rookie

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    It's the best you can do!
    From my point of view, our mission is to explain to the children that it is a bad word and it should not be used at school. That's it. From this discussion, I see that some teachers believe that those children are their own... And I love them, too, but I never forget that I am a teacher, I think we are not the ones who should explain the cornerstone morals to raise a child the way you want him/her to be.
     
  36. zo_ey

    zo_ey Rookie

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    Definitely a mean word. That is the unenviable and hard task a school teacher - got to explain it, and then get the kids to not use it! As my undergrad psychology textbook, Psych 5, Introductory Psychology, helped us understand about kids and language - they have a great propensity to add words to their vocabulary, which they have not come to gradually. So, it's got to be taught, but kids also need to understand that it's not a word to be used carelessly.
     
  37. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    In my classroom (mid-elementary), I consider the word to be "bad", among other inappropriate vernacular.
    I know this may not be the most popular viewpoint. However, I do not consider cultures and family moral values. I consider it to be a bad word and correct students when they use it. I know that it truly is not a bad word (in the adult word), but it is my classroom and I do not want that word to be used.
    Conclusively speaking, it is at the discretion of the teacher. Some teachers are fine with a few "bad" words and some assign detention for bad words.
     
  38. Toby A

    Toby A Rookie

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    Many parents discourage the word and it can be considered a unkind to use it amongst younger students. Around the same time they stop believing in santa they start accepting it as a word. But like anything the context is more important than the word.
     

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