Usually I try to see the teacher's perspective on name-calling and bullying in the classroom. I know of several oversensitive kids and their parents who really can't get a joke. Sometimes, parents also forget to keep in mind that there is definitely a "cultural" side to the way in which one person jokes with another.
Here, silly people are called Dorcas Brains, as in "you're being a dork" in a friendly, almost Biblical, way. And I know folks who call their children sh*theads and that sort of thing, and they don't mean anything bad toward the little tots. It's not something I'd do, but the kids are used to it and it isn't meant to be demeaning. The tone is teasing, not humiliating.
But now, take that little word to school with you, and it has a whole new meaning to people outside that culture. A teacher calling a kid a sh*thead would definitely be out of line.
Same thing with "loser."
I was kinda thinking before I clicked over to this story that "loser" would be ok to a point. As in,"Don't be a loser! Study for your test." I think we ought to give the benefit of the doubt whenever reasonably possible. (I know I'd appreciate it if I had to teach so many students! One comment taken out of context could ruin a career!) When I was in high school, a beloved social studies teacher would hand out a "Golden Shovel Award" (really just a spraypainted plastic shovel) for the essay with the most BS that year.
The winning essay was read with much giggling from the whole class. Probably today, the teacher wouldn't be able to get away with that due to privacy concerns, but back then, the recipient of the award and the entire class thought it was pretty funny.
This story isn't. It sounds a bit beyond friendly teasing... and it makes me wonder how much other stuff is going on that is NOT written down.
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