UK church school asks pupils to write ‘expletives’

A church school teacher asked a class of ten-year-olds to write down the rudest words they know and classify them from 'really upsetting' to 'harmless'.

Written by Agencies | London | Published:February 19, 2009 3:31 pm

Ever thought of your school teacher asking you to write “expletives” and rank them in order of offensiveness?

A church school teacher in Britain asked a class of ten-year-olds to write down the rudest words they know and classify them from ‘really upsetting’ to ‘harmless’,Daily Mail reported.

The pupils came up with obscenities including crude slang for sex acts and words for male and female genitalia.

As part of an anti-bullying lesson,class teacher Fred Laband of Great and Little Shelford Church of England Primary in Great Shelford,near Cambridge asked pupils to write a list of hurtful words commonly levelled at the victims of bullying and classify them accordingly in four groups,the daily said.

Parents were horrified when their children returned home with exercise books littered with expletives and asked what the words meant.

Many of the terms were displayed on a board in front of the class. The class teacher Laband was teaching anti-bullying as part of the government’s Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning Programme,the report said.

Nicknamed lessons in ‘happiness,they aim to improve children’s well-being and reduce disruptive behaviour. The teacher asked pupils at the high-achieving primary to categorise the insults under four headings.

The headings were grouped under ‘really upsetting’,’upsetting’,’not nice’,and ‘harmless’. A group included some of the most obscene words in the English language,which are too offensive to be published.

Parents spoke of their disbelief the lesson had taken place and accused the school of encouraging bullying and bad language.

A mother said: “You don’t expect your children to learn this kind of filth at school,particularly one linked to the Church. When my ten-year-old showed me an exercise book with words rewarded with a tick from the teacher,I was disgusted,” the report said.

In a letter to parents,headmistress Alison Evans said: “On reflection,it has been agreed that it was inappropriate to record these words in writing and the pages have been removed from exercise books.”

Alastair MacGregor,chairman of the governors said: “We deeply regret this happened. We are investigating what happened,and are taking appropriate disciplinary action,but I cannot comment on what,” the report added.

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