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#31 of 52 Old 10-10-2012, 05:12 AM
 
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it is teenspeak. they are not calling any stranger names, just amongst themselves. in their group its ok.

 

its just a phase and we as non teens have to allow them that. 

 

yes 20. gosh yeah - they are still kids (as much as we'd like to deny that) they are just coming out of the teen phase. heck i have heard the N word from even grey haired people who were very loud on the phone. either as a form of endearment or swearing at the person. but this was an 'in' conversation. 

 

heck my 10 year old has started to swear. seriously swear and call people names. and guess what advice i get? to come down hard and punish?!!! nope. be understanding. this is a phase. DONT come down too hard. help them cope. set up boundaries (no you shall not call people names) but then dont punish them every single time. seeing the effect of coming down hard on dd - i have learnt doing stupid stuff is part of growing up.

 

here is the part that puts me to shame. dd goes and apologizes later. heck her friends DONT take affront like i did. they say - i kid you not (they are a year older) - uh huh X you are going to start your period soon. how mindblowing is that?!!!! the mother doesnt get it, but her friends do. 

 

however let me make it very clear. just coz they use the language DOESNT mean they are racist. at least from the teens i know. to me that makes a big difference when actions speak louder than words. 


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#32 of 52 Old 10-10-2012, 05:32 AM
 
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I would accept the 'it's just a phase, don't worry about it' advice from someone whose teen did that and now is a respectful, caring adult. But I hesitate to accept it from someone who hasn't seen the end result, yet.

While I think it's important to teach our children respectful behavior, I'm not sure that discussion helps the OP. It appears she is concerned. And I think keeping an eye on things is wise. It's possible this will fade and go away. If there's more, especially if it gets more offensive, then action is needed. It must be difficult being in the minority. Hopefully you will meet people who accept everyone, regardless of religion, and will feel less like it's 'us versus them'. I wish you well.
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#33 of 52 Old 10-10-2012, 09:10 AM
 
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My kids never used those words (nigger, Jew kid, etc. Sorry, btw - I will not beat around the bush with "n" word - it is the word it is). The sure did learn to use cuss words, though. I remember when my 9yo asked me if he could use "language" after a really nasty play in the MLB. Sure - but I also told him that it was not language to use in school, around his grandparents, around his Dad, etc. Same with my daughter. They're not 18 & 20, and really don't use that language anymore. They've grown out of it. As I suspect that kids in OP's situation will.
 

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#34 of 52 Old 10-10-2012, 01:12 PM
 
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This is a fascinating discussion. I teach high school English and we read the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. We do a number of socratic seminars with non-fiction about the N word. The kids all think the N word is no big deal- as long as it is said with an -a on the end and not used to put someone down. I teach in a culturally diverse school (60/40) and the opinions seem pretty consistent from year to year. Starting last year, we discussed the fact that a publisher in the South has published Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, replacing the N word with the word slave. Every kid hated the idea, especially the African American students. They see slave as more deragotory.

 

Getting their opinions and reasons are truly fascinating. They don't see words and language the same way we do.

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#35 of 52 Old 10-10-2012, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone, who has taken the time to add their thoughts to this discussion!  Reading through it all just now has helped me clarify my thoughts and feelings.  I certainly don't agree with everything that was said, but I'm grateful for all of it.  

 

At present, not much has changed.  

 

My daughter says no one calls her "Jew Girl" anymore.  She is really REALLY adamant that I not make a stink about this, and unless things get worse, out of respect for her, I won't.  In the long view, I think it is ultimately more important for her to learn how she wants to handle situations like this, and the current scenario seems like a safe, some-what controlled arena in which she can try out her strategies without too much risk.  To me, this is the largest work that teens must do, and my job as a parent is facilitate, even when I don't want to/when it pisses me off/scares me to death!

 

The director of my son's school called me the following day and gave me her version of the encounter.  She said the boy who first said, "Jews are freaky!" uses the word "freaky" to describe anything unfamiliar.  He's been spoken to multiple times in the past about that habit because it has been hurtful to others, and in light of his most recent declaration of freakiness, the director was going to talk to his parents.  No word on if that happened or how it went.  I do know that my son now wants nothing at all to do with either boy...  And I used to see the kid's mom weekly at a playgroup our little ones are in, but haven't since the infamous comment was made.  Perhaps that's just a coincidence...

 

The director did indeed invite me to come in and "share about our traditions".  I gently glossed over the invitation and will wait to see what, if any, "tradition sharing" happens in my son's school.  I still am not interested in being the token minority.  We have always included our friends in our celebrations, but I'm done with performative Jewishness.  If that sort of thing floats your boat, fine, but I'm not going to do it and I'm not going to feel bad about that.  

 

Unless you are Jewish, African American, disabled, or anything else, I don't think you have the right to decide for the rest of us what is and is not offensive.  I'm Jewish.  "Jew girl" offends me.  You don't get to tell me I'm wrong, especially if you're not Jewish.  Just like African Americans can call each other "nigga" and still rage against being called the same by a white person, I'm going to insist on retaining ownership of my own feelings about how my minority status is used to identify me.  

 

I also want to say something about the notion of "teen speak".  In a nutshell, I think that's bologna.  There are words, phrases, symbols, gestures, etc, that are deemed offensive by society at large and no one should be given a free pass to indulge in them, not even in limited situations or with a limited peer group.  I really believe young people need to get the message loud and clear that we, as a society, do not tolerate such behavior, be it calling someone "retarded", "nigga/er", "Jew" or anything else.  I live just a few blocks from the high school and I see and hear things that are really just awful.  I'd like to hope most of those kids will grow out of the ugly behavior, but the longer it goes unchecked, the less likely it is to disappear entirely.  Perhaps they'll eventually be better at censoring themselves, but if we, as adults do not give the VERY clear message that such behavior is societally unacceptable, deep down I doubt those kids will ever really get it.

 

Prior to the "Jews are freaky" incident I spent a week with my son's class at a outdoor education center.  At every meal I was seated next to a grandfather who just loved to tell stories about the "Chinese boy" who lived next to his son.  This "Chinese boy" is in his 40s, has 2 kids, a happy marriage, a successful career and a PhD.  I don't doubt that he was calling people "Chinese boy" as a teenager too - he just never stopped.  And I'd be willing to bet that the kid who called my daughter "Jew girl" will be doing the same sort of thing, at least somewhere, some of the time, when she's a grandmother.  If we don't root out prejudice when kids are young, it will never die.  You can overlook bad behavior in your own kids, but don't expect the rest of society to be so forgiving when they are offensive to the rest of us.

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#36 of 52 Old 10-10-2012, 08:32 PM
 
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I don't think telling people that they have no right to an opinion unless they fall into a particular group is particularly helpful. As I mentioned, I faced the same sort of behavior in Israel. And yes, I have an opinion on the topic - which I believe I have the right to express. As does everyone else who responded to your initial post.

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#37 of 52 Old 10-10-2012, 08:50 PM
 
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OP i am glad things have worked out to your satisfaction. somewhat. 

 

but i do want to say something about teenspeak.

 

yes some keep that up when they are older. i once asked the question about the n word when i heard kids talking about it.

 

and guess what. a mom here said she herself used it when she was a teen but she has grown out of it. 

 

yes you have the right to feel offended. no i am not jewish but i am a minority here. lets face it most people have no idea how not to be offensive. i face offense every single day in some form or another. i volunteer a lot with teens and just out of teens - young community college students. just coz those words are said, it doesnt mean the person using the terms are being offensive. they are using it because of lack of knowledge. and therefore i dont take offense because they dont mean it. 

 

sad but true the world is a very racist place. i no longer try to change anything. somedays are more upsetting that others. esp. for a person who can easily fit 3 ethnic groups so i face triple the amount of prejudice. i dont face too much direct racism but i face all sorts of subtle racism. 

 

i have watched some of those ugly kids grow out of that behaviour. it comes from awareness. from me too to let them have their speak when its their time, then awareness hits and things work out, usually. 

 

i really dont believe in my life time will a day pass when i wont face prejudice. it is so over the top, that really - for me - i am done with being upset over comments. its not about me. its about them. 

 

but yeah to each their own. what i have discovered is racism/prejudice is a 'normal' state of being. what is 'abnormal' is a person who has not faced any prejudice. 


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#38 of 52 Old 10-10-2012, 08:57 PM
 
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If you feel so strongly about the school needing to address the way the students are behaving then you need to take it up with the school. This is a great place to vent but none of us can change the lack of education on common decency that the school provides. If you don't want to use your dd's situation to push for change then write down the ones you hear due to living so close to the school. I don't believe that the kids will always speak this way, some maybe but not most unless this is the way all of the adults speak. We don't stop maturing and changing after becoming a teenager.
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#39 of 52 Old 10-10-2012, 10:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wagz View Post

 

She is really REALLY adamant that I not make a stink about this, and unless things get worse, out of respect for her, I won't.  In the long view, I think it is ultimately more important for her to learn how she wants to handle situations like this, and the current scenario seems like a safe, some-what controlled arena in which she can try out her strategies without too much risk.  To me, this is the largest work that teens must do, and my job as a parent is facilitate, even when I don't want to/when it pisses me off/scares me to death!

 

.....

 

Unless you are Jewish, African American, disabled, or anything else, I don't think you have the right to decide for the rest of us what is and is not offensive.  I'm Jewish.  "Jew girl" offends me.  You don't get to tell me I'm wrong, especially if you're not Jewish.  Just like African Americans can call each other "nigga" and still rage against being called the same by a white person, I'm going to insist on retaining ownership of my own feelings about how my minority status is used to identify me.  

 

 

 

Hi Wagz, I think you are doing the right thing to respect your DDs wishes because I think that doing so could have an impact on your relationship with her. If you overrode her, you could risk her not sharing things with you in the future, and that would be a pity. I think its the right things to respect her wishes, whatever they are, and they may change in the future or be differently in a slightly different situation.

 

I personally think the biggest things teens need to do is develop independence and life skills.

 

I don't think you are wrong to be offended by "jew girl."  First, your feelings are your feelings and are valid and true whatever they are. At it's very best, "jew girl" is a very iffy phrase. It's not one that I would allow my kids to use.

 

I still think it's possible that the girls used the phrase around their parents and their parents put a stop to it. Kids screw up. They say stupid things. Often, their parents correct them.


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#40 of 52 Old 10-11-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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it is teenspeak. they are not calling any stranger names, just amongst themselves. in their group its ok.

 

its just a phase and we as non teens have to allow them that. 

 

yes 20. gosh yeah - they are still kids (as much as we'd like to deny that) they are just coming out of the teen phase. heck i have heard the N word from even grey haired people who were very loud on the phone. either as a form of endearment or swearing at the person. but this was an 'in' conversation. 

 

heck my 10 year old has started to swear. seriously swear and call people names. and guess what advice i get? to come down hard and punish?!!! nope. be understanding. this is a phase. DONT come down too hard. help them cope. set up boundaries (no you shall not call people names) but then dont punish them every single time. seeing the effect of coming down hard on dd - i have learnt doing stupid stuff is part of growing up.

 

here is the part that puts me to shame. dd goes and apologizes later. heck her friends DONT take affront like i did. they say - i kid you not (they are a year older) - uh huh X you are going to start your period soon. how mindblowing is that?!!!! the mother doesnt get it, but her friends do. 

 

however let me make it very clear. just coz they use the language DOESNT mean they are racist. at least from the teens i know. to me that makes a big difference when actions speak louder than words. 

You are sadly delusioned. Cope with f'ing what? Teens using bigoted, offensive language grow up to be adults that use bigoted, offensive language. If you think it is alright for your kid to use racial epithets as long as she is "among her peers" then you are potentially raising a bigot. Congratulations.


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#41 of 52 Old 10-11-2012, 12:20 PM
 
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OP i am glad things have worked out to your satisfaction. somewhat. 

 

but i do want to say something about teenspeak.

 

yes some keep that up when they are older. i once asked the question about the n word when i heard kids talking about it.

 

and guess what. a mom here said she herself used it when she was a teen but she has grown out of it. 

 

yes you have the right to feel offended. no i am not jewish but i am a minority here. lets face it most people have no idea how not to be offensive. i face offense every single day in some form or another. i volunteer a lot with teens and just out of teens - young community college students. just coz those words are said, it doesnt mean the person using the terms are being offensive. they are using it because of lack of knowledge. and therefore i dont take offense because they dont mean it. 

 

sad but true the world is a very racist place. i no longer try to change anything. somedays are more upsetting that others. esp. for a person who can easily fit 3 ethnic groups so i face triple the amount of prejudice. i dont face too much direct racism but i face all sorts of subtle racism. 

 

i have watched some of those ugly kids grow out of that behaviour. it comes from awareness. from me too to let them have their speak when its their time, then awareness hits and things work out, usually. 

 

i really dont believe in my life time will a day pass when i wont face prejudice. it is so over the top, that really - for me - i am done with being upset over comments. its not about me. its about them. 

 

but yeah to each their own. what i have discovered is racism/prejudice is a 'normal' state of being. what is 'abnormal' is a person who has not faced any prejudice. 

So, the world is a racist place but kids making racist remarks are not racists? Teens miraculously grow out of it without anybody telling them how offensive it is? And I guess since they grow out of it, all the adult racists must have been grown on trees. That is some real logic there. Racism is racism. What is so hard to understand here? splat.gif


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#42 of 52 Old 10-11-2012, 01:19 PM
 
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So, the world is a racist place but kids making racist remarks are not racists? Teens miraculously grow out of it without anybody telling them how offensive it is? And I guess since they grow out of it, all the adult racists must have been grown on trees. That is some real logic there. Racism is racism. What is so hard to understand here? splat.gif

no one is saying dont talk to the teens. 

 

point it out but let them get out of it when they are ready to.

 

dont get into their conversation and tell them what's wrong.

 

have you never heard a guy call his gf a bitch and she come smiling to him. these are teen or just past teen. and you try to tell them what was offensive in that and they will roll their eyes at you.

 

its teenspeak and no they should not be forbidden.

 

when its time they will get out of it. however if racism IS their belief then no matter what you say when you say - will make any difference. 

 

i mean if you come down to brass tacks for me anyone celebrating thanksgiving or columbus day in the US is a racist. why cant we ask for another day to be TG day. why do we keep to that day. yes by now all the real meaning behind TG is lost, and i know no one really thinks of the original meaning behind tg, but is that reason enough to go on with it.  


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#43 of 52 Old 10-11-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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no one is saying dont talk to the teens. 

 

point it out but let them get out of it when they are ready to.

 

dont get into their conversation and tell them what's wrong.

 

have you never heard a guy call his gf a bitch and she come smiling to him. these are teen or just past teen. and you try to tell them what was offensive in that and they will roll their eyes at you.

 

its teenspeak and no they should not be forbidden.

 

when its time they will get out of it. however if racism IS their belief then no matter what you say when you say - will make any difference. 

 

i mean if you come down to brass tacks for me anyone celebrating thanksgiving or columbus day in the US is a racist. why cant we ask for another day to be TG day. why do we keep to that day. yes by now all the real meaning behind TG is lost, and i know no one really thinks of the original meaning behind tg, but is that reason enough to go on with it.  

Well, I sure do wish someone had told me how sexist my high school boyfriend who called me a bitch would turn out to be. Are you serious meemee?


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#44 of 52 Old 10-11-2012, 06:23 PM
 
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To all :

The words used make all the difference!

Saying 'I wouldn't be bothered by "Jew girl" is an expression of an opinion.

Saying 'The phrase "Jew girl" is not offensive' is imposing your view on the other person.

Like it or not, agree with it or not, that is the reality. It is not just semantics.

OP :
Perhaps some of us meant the first and said the second. If I did that, I apologize. I only meant to express an opinion.

It can be difficult when those around you have different views, especially if they arrogantly believe they are right. If it helps you to feel better, Christians, in my experience, spend time telling each other that only certain Christian groups are right, and all others need to change. I hope things go well for you!
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#45 of 52 Old 10-11-2012, 07:28 PM
 
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no one is saying dont talk to the teens. 

point it out but let them get out of it when they are ready to.

dont get into their conversation and tell them what's wrong.

have you never heard a guy call his gf a bitch and she come smiling to him. these are teen or just past teen. and you try to tell them what was offensive in that and they will roll their eyes at you.

its teenspeak and no they should not be forbidden.

when its time they will get out of it. however if racism IS their belief then no matter what you say when you say - will make any difference. 

i mean if you come down to brass tacks for me anyone celebrating thanksgiving or columbus day in the US is a racist. why cant we ask for another day to be TG day. why do we keep to that day. yes by now all the real meaning behind TG is lost, and i know no one really thinks of the original meaning behind tg, but is that reason enough to go on with it.  

It is not teenspeak , it is racist hate speech. Teens do not get a pass on that. They may not change their attitudes but that does not mean that the rest of us have to tolerate it.

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#46 of 52 Old 10-11-2012, 08:49 PM
 
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Nevermind. Off topic.
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#47 of 52 Old 10-12-2012, 04:30 AM
 
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Christians, in my experience, spend time telling each other that only certain Christian groups are right, and all others need to change. I hope things go well for you!

 

SOME Christians, perhaps. NOT all. That is as biased as any other statement deemed offensive on this thread.

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#48 of 52 Old 10-12-2012, 10:45 AM
 
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no one is saying dont talk to the teens. 

 

point it out but let them get out of it when they are ready to.

 

dont get into their conversation and tell them what's wrong.

 

have you never heard a guy call his gf a bitch and she come smiling to him. these are teen or just past teen. and you try to tell them what was offensive in that and they will roll their eyes at you.

 

its teenspeak and no they should not be forbidden.

 

Seriously? My 8 year old knows better than to say these things, and I don't think for a minute that she's a particularly enlightened child. You do not call people names. Period. And I will come down hard on anyone who does it, just like I did for the neighbor's 13 year old who was calling my daughter "fat" and a "brat".

 

If you don't tell them what's wrong, how are they going to learn? That's an attitude I really don't understand. Bigoted teenspeak is still bigotry. No one gets a free pass because they're 16. Now, it doesn't mean that I'm going to write a 16 year old off, but I should would provide a learning opportunity. I respect the OP's desire not to get involved. It's tricky with teens. But if ANY teen that I know says something like that within my hearing, they're going to know why that's wrong. They'll probably roll their eyes at me and consider me to be the fuddy-duddy, uncool, middle aged lady that I am. But I also bet it'll have an impact.

 

Just because the world is racist doesn't mean you have to let it go unchallenged.


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#49 of 52 Old 10-12-2012, 03:26 PM
 
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Well, I sure do wish someone had told me how sexist my high school boyfriend who called me a bitch would turn out to be. Are you serious meemee?

gosh yes i am so serious. and it isnt even me talking. 

 

i took that incident out of a teen development book. 

 

Lynn the point is i am sure a lot of them know. but its something they DO as a teen. i am surprised you havent come across any. i hear them in school all the time. if i had to tell them every time i heard a racist term then i'd have no time to study. 

 

would you point that out to a teen who is laughing and joking with their friends and using racist talk?


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#50 of 52 Old 10-12-2012, 11:08 PM
 
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gosh yes i am so serious. and it isnt even me talking. 

 

i took that incident out of a teen development book. 

 

Lynn the point is i am sure a lot of them know. but its something they DO as a teen. i am surprised you havent come across any. i hear them in school all the time. if i had to tell them every time i heard a racist term then i'd have no time to study. 

 

would you point that out to a teen who is laughing and joking with their friends and using racist talk?

 

If it's someone I knew, yes, I would. Just because they're having fun doesn't mean it's OK. A quick "hey, it's not OK to use those words" goes a long way. Hell, I can usually get them with raised eyebrows and "The Look". It's not like a make a huge production. I just let them know that what they're doing isn't OK. Just like I let them know that riding bikes over someone's newly seeded lawn, or tossing someone's water bottle in the trash because you're frustrated with them is also not a wise choice.

 

It's part of that whole village idea.


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#51 of 52 Old 10-13-2012, 12:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wagz View Post

Frankly, I'm sick of having to teach other people's children tolerance.  

I can really sympathize (maybe empathize) with you on this.  I am Buddhist, dh is atheist, and dds are fairly non-religious.  Dds and I are also vegan and we live in a community with a lot of families from farming/ranching backgrounds.  When my dd14 was in early elementary, I was approached by a kid in her class to ask me if I knew that dd was going to hell b/c she "didn't have Jesus in her heart" and we've dealt with a lot of bullying over the years about their diets.  Dd12 just yesterday came home telling me how a number of kids in her grade were telling her that she was small b/c she doesn't get enough protein, that she was weak, that god wanted her to eat meat...  A number of them have taken to calling her a cannibal for some strange reason.  The incident yesterday happened at lunch and she related that the lunch monitors just watched while a large bunch of the 7th grade gathered around her table to badger her about her diet.  Dd14 agrees that the teachers don't get involved even when they see it.

 

Like you, I have a high schooler.  It gets harder and harder to advocate on their behalf as they get older like that b/c the school staff doesn't view it positively when they're not little kids anymore.  I'm mostly listening and suggesting ways to them that they can stand up for themselves at this point unless it reaches the point where it gets way out of line.  Dh contacted dd12's principal about an instance regarding her last year b/c she was only a 6th grader at that time and she was getting physically injured.

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#52 of 52 Old 10-13-2012, 07:01 PM
 
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Calling the new kid something like that is one thing and seems exclusionary, but if they were close enough already to tease each other teens totally do that kind of thing. My DH had 2 friends named Matt in high school, one he knew first and another who proudly became known as Jew-Matt. This was in a diverse place but still minority enough to be a distinction (his friends were very religiously diverse, though most of those who were atheist or pagan at the time became christians in their twenties). The difference is whether it offends them or not, and whether it draws them closer or keeps them apart.

 

In my own experience in elementary school, the most exclusionary thing teachers can do is hold up the "different" kid as an example of a particular culture or religion. We had 3 advanced primary grades together and come December we'd always hear all about these 2 boys in class being Jewish. One of them ate his boogers on a regular basis - we all saw it - so another difference getting pointed out didn't help him fit in any. One substitute somewhere around 2nd grade came in and for some reason had us go around the room saying what religion we were. Well, I wasn't raised religious and got confused, shrugged and when she asked "are you Christian?" and I said "no I'm not Kristen I'm Jamie" ...embarrassing moments really stay with you for years. Most of us were blissfully unaware of any barriers between us besides behavior until things were pointed out.

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