Is It Ok For Teachers To Swear?

Posted on 13th October 2011 in discipline/ schools/ swearing/ teachers

Had coffee with a friend this week who told me that a teacher at her child’s school had sworn at the class. Apparently during a lesson, when losing the attention of the class, the teacher shouted “I’m not a f***ing foghorn”.

Another day, another teacher, apparently put her middle finger up at a child who was messing around.

I can’t help wondering how they can ever discipline the children or expect them to behave as an air of hypocrisy must make any such conversations impossible.

The more I think about it, the more shocked I am that this happened. It has made me wonder if I’m just too idealistic – in my head teachers gain the respect of their pupils and peers through well tempered, well managed behaviour. Leading by example and creating an ethos of personal safety and mutual respect.

Am I wrong? Is it now ok or even ‘the norm’ for teachers to swear at their pupils to regain control?

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15 Comments

  • Reply schoolrefurbishment 13th October 2011 at 12:33 pm

    why would it be ok for teachers to swear? kids swear enough as it!

  • Reply Andrew Parhker 13th October 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Here we are again Curls with the subject of swearing (a subject very strong to my moralists views)

    Having mothers swearing at their children is mortifying enough (thinking back to an earlier post) but having a supposedly well educated and respected individual who’s unspoken role is to show children the correct way a responsible adult is to behave, swearing at their class and showing inappropriate behavior is completely unacceptable. Even if it could have been used for shock factor or just a very bad day building up, there is simply no excuse.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 14th October 2011 at 3:18 pm

      Ah Parky I love it when you comment!

      It’s dreadful isn’t it, if it had been my children I would have registered an official complaint with the head teacher – I’m so shocked that the staff clearly think it is ok to do it. So sad.

  • Reply Him Up North 13th October 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I’m assuming (hoping) the school you mention is a secondary?

    Schools always have behaviour policies for pupils detailing how the children are expected to act. Is there ever an equivalent for staff? Should school behaviour policy include pupil AND staff behaviour? I think so, otherwise it is too one-sided.

    Schools need to promote mutual respect, and even if teacher swears or flips the finger to appear “down with the kids”, it damages any hope of respect.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 14th October 2011 at 3:20 pm

      Awful isn’t it, I don’t see how the children (yes it was a secondary school, but we are talking year 7 here – not that it would be any better if it were year 10) are meant to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour if it is clearly ok to behave like that at school. If the teachers do it then it makes it impossible for them to ever discipline or admonish a child for doing it.

  • Reply Ally Wilson (@RedMemoryBox) 14th October 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I can’t believe that! Absolutely I think it’s wrong and would complain. Agree with Andrew’s comment above about hearing parents’ swear at them is bad enough, but hearing it from the teachers is awful.

    I don’t swear too much, and take offence to exceptional bad language and innuendo – I was on an adult training course a few years ago and the tutor had horrendous language and was bringing innuendo into everything – I complained about him as it’s unprofessional and there’s absolutely no need for it.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 14th October 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Well done for reporting him, so many people complain to friends and family and not to those who can get something done. When no one complains it seems to say that the swearing is acceptable and then a precedent is set.

  • Reply @pie100 14th October 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I would be horrified and definately complaining. What sort of school allows the teachers to swear.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 14th October 2011 at 5:59 pm

      Awful isn’t it – I should name and shame them really!

  • Reply Mrs Teepot 16th October 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I don’t yet have kids, but if I found out a teacher had sworn in school I would be banging on the headteacher’s door demanding they be disciplined.
    Teachers should be setting an example to children

  • Reply anna 3rd February 2012 at 3:03 pm

    well my child came home yesterday and said the teacher swore at him, he asked her why her nose was red and she threw him out of class, when he asked why she said beacuse your pisxing me off you jerk. absolutely horrendous, im now waiting for a phone call from the head teacher !!

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 3rd February 2012 at 3:06 pm

      My word, that’s horrendous! Surely that is a disciplinary offence?

    • Reply Him Up North 3rd February 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Verbal abuse is no different to being slapped in my view. Ask to speak to the teacher concerned or, failing that, a member of management.

  • Reply anna 3rd February 2012 at 3:05 pm

    if a child swore at a teacher they would be in severe trouble wander what will happen to the teacher, nothing i bet !

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 3rd February 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Tell the head you want a letter from the school, that way it has to go on record. Otherwise what lesson does that set your child – and any others who heard it? Certainly doesn’t teach them respect, self control or professionalism. How is your child meant to trust that teach now?

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