A Dictionary of “Good, Clean Slang” given to students at Eastside Elementary as part of a homework assignment has at least one mother upset.
“It encourages everything we should be discouraging,” said parent Wanda Davis. “Bullies use words to hurt other students, but this dictionary says some of those are good, clean humor.”
Eastside principal Doug Reed says the dictionary was part of a homework assignment that is now being taken out of context. Students, not teacher, offered the words for the dictionary.
“Students were given the slang version of ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ by Hans Christian Andersen,” Reed said. “The teacher asked students for examples of slang and compiled them into a dictionary.”
Students were asked to read the story then incorporate the slang words they gave into another story and submit that for grading.
“It is part of a high-interest lesson from Cottonwood Press teachers can use to pique the interest of students,” said Reed. “She was just trying to give them something fun to read and write about. It was never meant to be hurtful or insulting.”
The seven-page “Dictionary of Good, Clean Slang at Eastside Elementary” lists:
• Geek – “A person who is smart or not cool. NERD.”
• Weenie – “Nerd who is weak. SISSY.”
• Freaktard – “Odd person. WEIRDO.”
• Brace-face – “Someone who has braces. TRAIN TRACKS.”
Other words were babe, chica, chickadee, chicks, hot, and hag, which all refer to women or girls. In all, more than 30 words were listed.
Davis says the dictionary also gives students insults they can use against each other.
The term “Yo mama” comes with an example of “Yo mama is so fat, when she stepped on the scale it said, ‘To be continued.’”
“That would be very hurtful to a child and insulting to parents out there who are a little overweight,” she said. “I don’t know what this teacher was thinking when she did this, but it is not funny to the students who are bullied every day in school.”
Reed says the teacher has expressed regret for the dictionary.
“No one is perfect,” he said. “I don’t think teachers are either. Sometimes we don’t think things through. She didn’t intend to hurt anyone and she is terribly upset knowing that it did. If she could go back and remove the dictionary, I think she would.”
The dictionary was brought to the attention of Warren County Director of Schools Dr. Jerry Hale.
“We don’t want to issue something in poor taste or that would be hurtful to anyone,” he said. “It sounds as though some of that would be very hurtful and in poor taste.”
No action has been taken against the teacher.