Blog Entry:

Little Words Become Big Words

August 22, 2012

Well, here we go again….I don’t know about you, but I have to disagree with the 88% of the Today Show viewers who said  the Prague, Oklahoma high school valedictorian should “stand her ground” against her school’s decision to withhold her diploma for inappropriate language used in her graduation address.

Why do I disagree? There is an issue no one is discussing…this young woman’s attitude. She feels she has the right to say what she wants to say when she wants to say it, regardless of how her words might affect someone else. Really? The right? Her father referenced her right to freedom of speech. She has a right to offer her opinion on anything without retribution, but using profanity isn’t offering your opinion. You might argue that the word she used was an often-used word in an often-used phrase.

You’re right, but…

Does that make the use of it acceptable?

This is one of those moments in our society when a little thing is in actuality a BIG thing. Allowing one little word to be used this year opens the door for another and another. If this is allowed to pass, soon the ‘bomb’ will be heard in high school graduation speeches.

I’m not ignorant, nor am I naive. I know the language of our teenage population. I live in it and work in it. I’ve had it directed at me more times than I care to remember, as every teacher endures in today’s high schools, but that doesn’t make it right or acceptable.

I’m standing my ground…The use of profanity in a high school address is inappropriate on many levels. I’ll even use that dreaded word, wrong. Yep, it’s wrong, just plain wrong.

If we’re ever going to bring a return of respect and civility to our society, it must begin with the little things because that’s where we went wrong in the first place.

What do you think?

Jill

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