BBC NEWS | England | Northamptonshire | School gives pupils f-word limit
Another brilliant educational initiative. I wonder where they got 5 as the limit? Is there a sliding scale of punishment? If you use the offending word 15 times in a lesson, do you get twice the detention you would have got if you’d used it only ten times? Will the tally on the board be used to produce a league table at the end of the year? The headteacher says that he is introducing this rule because swearing is already part of the children’s (sorry, “young adults'”) vocabulary. A bit of a fatal flaw in his thinking, there, I feel. I imagine underage drinking is part of their culture as well – so is he proposing one Carlsberg Special Brew a lesson is OK, but half a bottle of vodka gets you sent to the headmaster’s office?
What’s wrong with saying, “Look, we all know you swear – as do your teachers on occasion – but a lesson is not an appropriate place for it, and it won’t be tolerated.”? Schools constantly go on about how they are preparing children (sorry, youngsters) for the world of work – you wonder how their foul-mouthed habits would go down with customers in a shop, or clients in an office.

CC BY-SA 4.0 The f word by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.