Thursday, 26 February 2015

Respectful Language: Piss Off

The Trash has come upon the presentation given about Respectful Language towards the end of half term. The files, available on the shared area, include the powerpoint, as well as various other documents, including teacher's notes and a lesson plan.

As we have said in a previous article, the presentation was, in a few respects, very funny, as on slide three it referred to the Head among religious leaders (as well as a random person called Iman, because the school cannot spell 'Imam'), and shouting 'Fire in a crowded theatre' (see below). However, on closer inspection, we found some things we had missed first time round, and this gave us the chance to mess around a bit.

First thing we noticed was the splattering of Article 13 about the presentation, the title slide proclaiming that "Every child must be free to say what they think and to seek and receive all kinds of information". Yeah, because the school is famed for that. What makes it more ironic is that that isn't even a direct quote for the Rights of a Child Charter. The school put that down. 1 point to wishful thinking.

The class settler was supposedly to play them the "respect rap". Now, this may be us just being cynical, but we reckon a hilarious out-of-touch cringe-worthy video is the last thing to get any year settled.

One of the additional questions in the notes was "What impression of Hampstead School and its students, do you think a visitor would get if they crossed the yard at break, lunch or after school and heard students using swear words as part of their everyday speech." P. E. Dant noticed that not only does the question lack a question mark, but so do all the questions on slide eleven, as well as questions on slides five and twelve. To answer the question: who cares? If one of the hinging points of children talking to each other in a formal manner is because they, or the school, are worried that someone might hear them (chipping away at the fantastic facade the school has generated), then they probably ought to re-evaluate their priorities.

To quote something on slide four, which sums up the presentation, and the 'initiative', as a whole, is that it is about "finding ways to express ourselves without causing offence to others", which we thought was rich, especially after certain members of the schools, in assemblies, advocated the work of Charlie Hebdo after the shootings, the main prerogative of which being that in France they uphold the right to offend, and offend they did.

We at the Trash believe there is and always will be a place for swearing, as with any word. Any English teacher will tell you that every word is used to evoke a certain effect; the same goes for swear words. Obviously overuse, and use in the wrong context or situation, is bad, but sometimes swearing is a necessary thing, regardless of respect.

However, now on to fun making. We began with slide eleven, wherein we replaced every mention of 'language' with 'dildo'. We wonder how it worked out...
For those that want to play along at home, another word that works is 'whisk',
although suggestions for others in the comments are greatly appreciated.
The presentation also asked that "On the piece of paper provided write down every ‘negative’ language word you know". Unfortunately, the last time a writer for this blog did that publicly, he was expelled.

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