Swearing more common in the classroom

April 22, 2005 at 6:53 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 22 (UPI) -- Some students and teachers in Michigan classrooms have acquiesced to the growing use of profanity in day-to-day conversations.

"Over the last 10 years, we've seen a dramatic change in the tolerance level in terms of what's acceptable and what's not. It's scary. ... The rap music coming up just blows me away," Mike Madison, principal of Forsythe Middle School in Ann Arbor, told the Ann Arbor News.

Some educators advocate confronting strong language directly every time it is used rather than paying little or no attention to children who curse on school grounds.

"It's not enough to tell a child that we don't use that type of language. It sends it underground," said Linda Lewis-White, an Eastern Michigan University professor who trains elementary school teachers. She proposes turning foul language into a lesson, assigning students who swear to research the origins of the offensive words they chose.

"Once we get the meaning out there, sometimes the mystery of the word will go away," she said.

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