That's so gay.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    How would you handle "gay" being used as a negative word in an elementary classroom? I'm definitely not ok with it but unsure how to best address it.
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I just say "I'm sorry, that's not appropriate. Next time I hear it you will have a consequence."

    A lot of the time they don't know that it's inappropriate to say, and sometimes they're just testing to see if you'll hold them accountable for being respectful to others.

    It helps that many of them know that I'm gay.
     
  4. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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  5. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Depending on your age group, you can have some fun with this. Once I had an 8th grader use gay in the hallway as an insult and then said a lot of other lewd and graphic things about being gay. I walked out to see the commotion right when he said "you're so gay" to another student. I said "I'm so gay...do you want to say those things to me?" And he immediately broke down crying and begging for forgiveness. I'm not really gay, but that is not the point. The point is students think it is okay to villanize gay people (or Jews, etc.) because they don't know any gay people. If you make it human they stop right quick.

    I taught mostly African American middle schoolers so I would also say "that's so black" if I heard "that's so gay" (or retarded). They learned to equate their hate language with racism that way.
     
  6. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I love this post.
     
  7. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    That sounds like an excellent way to get yourself fired.
     
  8. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    I'm sure the teacher explained and didn't just say "that's soblack". I think that's an excellent analogy.
     
  9. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    It wouldn't get you fired here, but it would not go over well at all.

    If a white teacher here said "that's so Black," not only would our students probably find it offensive; but some of our staff members would not find this funny or see it as a useful teaching moment AT ALL ... Trust me.

    I'm Black and a Black co-worker of mine often "jokes" that he feels like he and the other Black teachers here are treated like "we are teaching on the plantation" - his exact words. His issue is that many of our non-Black co-workers do not talk to him and blantantly ignore him at times or that their tone/attitude/behavior is unprofessional.He often feels "talked down to." Saying "that's so Black" would not fly with him.
     
  10. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    For some students, the lesson might be lost and they would just see you as a racist if you're not Black yourself ...
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree. I feel like this is what would happen at my school if a teacher were to use that phrase in the way described here. While I understand the point, I just don't think it's a great idea because I think it could backfire, particularly if you don't have a good relationship with your students or if they are immature and will respond emotionally without giving you a chance to explain what you mean.
     
  12. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Whether backed by explanations, logic, or love, it could still get you fired.
     
  13. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Haha, I'm not really interested in a debating over this further, but yes, of course I explain it. I obviously don't go into a classroom full of 6th graders I don't know and say something like that! However, if a black student I have a relationship with over 2-3 years says, "That's so gay" or "you're so gay!" I will respond with "that's so black" or "how would you feel if I said that's so black?" and then have a conversation about how what they are saying is just as bad. It has never caused me any trouble and has been extremely effective in getting kids to actually think about what they are saying. I realize that this won't work in all situations, but in my teaching environment it does work.

    I do not feel "make another word choice" or simply stating that their language is inappropriate is an appropriate response for demeaning gay people. We wouldn't do that if a student used the n word or the c word, so why are we being so tolerant of homophobic language? 10% of our students will end up being gay and doing essentially nothing when a student uses that language sends them a message.
     
  14. Jerseygirlteach

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    I had a similar issue when I taught middle school. Students would use "Jew" as an insult. They got it from South Park, apparently. When I talked to them about this, I asked them to think about how they would feel if someone discussed their religion in that way. I didn't mention to them that I was Jewish, though, because I didn't want them thinking that that was why I was offended. I wanted them to realize it was offensive to everyone.

    Not really important, but this is a bit of an overestimation. Just sayin...


    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slat...r_lesbian_gallup_survey_says_3_4_percent.html
     
  15. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I teach high school, so it's a bit different because I expect them to know better by that age (they often don't). When I start the school year, I tell them that I'm very easy-going about cursing "slip ups." But the 3 things that will not be let go is any language related to race (even if used in a friendly manner), gender (the lovely "THOT" has been an issue this year) or sexual orientation.

    I usually have to show that's not a bluff once a year on "that's so gay." When the kids see me let other "slip ups" pass by with a "language, please!" and then immediately jump up and say "go wait in the hall for me!" on "TSG", they realize the seriousness.

    BTW, I do use the "that's so black" DISCUSSION, but never just as a reply. I've discussed the issue with the class, but started with "How would you feel if they said 'that's so tall', 'that's so SCHOOLNAME', 'that's so black', etc". The kids actually started enjoying coming up with "that's so...." phrases (that's so your mom" was popular :p), so I'm not sure the seriousness of the message came across, but it was an amusing afternoon.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    There are 2 words that bother me a lot that I just simply won't ignore. They are "gay" and "retard". I think both shouldn't be allowed as these refer to groups that get more than their fair share of unwarranted attacks and prejudice.

    When I hear either word, I talk to the student one on one. What I say to the student might vary, but I make it clear that word isn't to be used. I also might let them know a consequence will happen next time. I also refer back to what they exactly said. If they said, "That is so gay." I say, what you said doesn't make sense, and if you don't like something, you could say "That is so stupid, or that is so dumb." Next time I see that person, I often hear. "This is stupid." Out of an 8th grader's mouth, I think...okay that is better.
     
  17. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    In the elementary classroom (I teach grade 2) I would simply say, "That's not appropriate." and move on. I wouldn't add any fuel to the situation by giving unnecessary attention. Our little learners are figuring out language and vocabulary and they are simply repeating what they hear. Most don't understand that what they are saying is inappropriate. So I give them a simple reminder and move on. If it happens again then I have a conversation with their parents.
     
  18. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    That's so sad :(
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I don't think there's anything wrong in letting them know you are Jewish or whatever in these cases. As another poster has previously mentioned, a lot of the time they say these things is because they don't realize that these groups are real people. They don't come into contact with them in their friend group or their relationships. When they have a face they can attach to it, especially someone they like and respect, it can have a great influence in helping them to be more accepting of others.

    Also not that important, but the administers of that survey make it clear that the 3-4 percent is a low-ball number and only represents those who are openly LGBT in a society which still has much stigma about being openly LGBT. I wouldn't be surprised to see a realistic estimation of 6-8%.
     
  20. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Thanks for all the responses. I talked with the two kids involved and actually explained why the language was offensive. It went over well with those two.
     
  21. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    What. A. Headache.

    Pretty much every fight at my school this year over a girl has been because someone called her a THOT and then she wanted someone to defend her "honor" ...:rolleyes::rolleyes:

    Honestly, at times, I want to tell some of these hot in the pants girls that if they don't want to be called a THOT; then you need to stop your nasty behavior, stop posting about your behavior on Twitter and stop messing with every boy that is willing to follow you on Instagram. Best advice I could give.
     
  22. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    We've had a lot of problems this year with the boys. They just have NO respect for women. Any female is a THOT, whether it's because of how they dress or because they rejected them or their actual behavior. We've had THOT lists, Twitter feeds posting videos/pictures of girls... it's been really disturbing this year. More so than any year I can remember as far as lack of respect.
     
  23. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I'd never heard THOT before this thread. Learned something new...
     
  24. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    If it is appropriate, can you explain THOT?

    I don't trust online sources for such things, lol
     
  25. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    IA; many of our boys have no respect for women but some of these girls show little respect for themselves. Here, both guys and girls use the word to insult girls, but it's the boys fighting when someone calls their girl a THOT.

    As a staff, we've asked Admin to address this because we've also had videos of our girls having sex/oral sex being circulated by our boys and this is not a new issue. Surprisingly, this year, it's our 7th and 8th grade girls - there's a clique of them that act like they're in their 20s - that we've had issues with them being filmed ... I guess most of our HS girls know to tell the boys to put the camera phone down...
     
  26. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    That Ho Over There.

    Nothing but a new way to call a girl a ho.
     
  27. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    It stands for "That Ho Over There" and has become the Word de Jure for females suspected of being promiscuous. A lot of the currently popular artists in certain musical genres have been (over)using it and it's been a chore keeping it out of the classroom.
     
  28. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    It seems like every year, there's one word/phrase that I would pay serious money to see disappear, whether it's offensive or not, just out of annoyance.

    "That's so gay" isn't nearly as popular as other phrases in my daily life. Last year, I'd have given half my paycheck for "squaaad" and "cuff" to disappear and they weren't even nasty.
     
  29. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    That's what she said was the phrase I wanted to see die my first year. Some kids said it all the time.

    I hadn't heard of THOT before either, but ho isn't common at my school. I still hear slut a lot more.
     
  30. houseofbooks

    houseofbooks Companion

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    I teach high school. If a student throws out any negative slurs regarding race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, I'll usually say "that's not appropriate" and move on. Most times, they'll watch their language or apologize. I am pretty tolerant about "slip ups" when it comes to run of the mill swearing. Teens curse. I get it. I cursed all the time, too, and the occasional "oh s--t! I dropped my pen!" doesn't raise many eyebrows from me. However disrespectful language toward a particular group will not fly in my classroom. If one student uses the same slur, after being warned many times, then I'll give a detention for being disruptive and insubordinate. I expect teens to know better, but unfortunately many of them don't.
     
  31. houseofbooks

    houseofbooks Companion

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    This makes me so angry and sad. :mad: Sorry you're dealing with it. Sounds like a messy year. Hopefully one day those boys will grow up.
     
  32. EMonkey

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    In the lower grades I explain it is not appropriate to use it and keep it minimal. When I taught fifth grade, I did use a similar thing to that's so black. I started with my family history and that's so American as an example. I then would explain what derogatory words are and how thoughtless it is to use a group's title as a derogatory term. The kids got and were done with it after a few reminders.
     

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