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Thread: What the "hell" is wrong with society?

  1. #1
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    [url=http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/printer/ap.asp?category=1110&slug=Swearing%20Suspension]http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/printer/ap.a...ng%20Suspension[/url]

    SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

    Wednesday, February 4, 2004 Last updated 12:08 p.m. PT

    Girl says 'hell' in school, suspended

    By DAN NEPHIN
    ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

    PITTSBURGH -- A second-grader was suspended for a day for telling a classmate he would go to hell for saying, "I swear to God."

    Brandy McKenith, 7, was suspended for swearing for saying the word "hell," but her family says she was referring to the biblical location of fire and brimstone.

    She served the suspension Tuesday.

    The Pittsburgh Public Schools' student code of conduct prohibits profanity, but doesn't provide a definition, spokeswoman Pat Crawford said. The school would not comment further.

    Brandy's father, Wayne McKenith, said when he learned about the suspension, he thought perhaps his daughter had said something worse, so he called the teacher for details. He was told another student overheard his daughter say the word.

    "I said, `Hell? She got suspended for that?'" McKenith said.

    He said he asked the school to evaluate its profanity policy.

    "`Hell' is like the least of the words in school today," McKenith said. "You go home and turn on the TV tonight and tell me how many times you hear the word 'hell.' And I mean network TV, not even cable."

    Without a clear definition, the district could run into problems enforcing the policy, said Witold Walczak, legal director of the Greater Pittsburgh chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

    "The school's policy says 'no profanity' and that's not further defined," Walczak said. "How should this little girl know that `hell' is not allowed?"

    "It's questionable whether `hell' is even a profanity, and it certainly isn't in the way that she used it," he added.

    McKenith, a suburban Pittsburgh police detective, said family members aren't "religious fanatics," but there's a healthy respect for the Lord, so he accepts her daughter's explanation.

    "She's under the assumption that good people go to heaven and ... bad people go to hell," he said Wednesday.

  2. #2
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    what's this a little girl punished puritanically for her puritanical beliefs?

    im outraged ;)

  3. #3
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    Personally, I'm against any limitation on what words people can say. Words themselves don't hurt anyone, as the 'hell' example shows in the news clipping. What matters is meaning behind them.

    Example: One young black man calls his friend his 'nigger(nigga, whatever)' and thats fine. However using that same word as an insult is considered reprehensible.

    There are hundreds of ways to insult people without using 'profanity', and there are hundreds of ways to use 'profanity' without being insulting or offensive. Rules like the one the school system is attempting to implement are at best misguided, and at worst unconstitutional.

  4. #4
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jared[/i]@Feb 4 2004, 11:38 PM
    [b] Personally, I'm against any limitation on what words people can say. Words themselves don't hurt anyone, as the 'hell' example shows in the news clipping. What matters is meaning behind them.

    Example: One young black man calls his friend his 'nigger(nigga, whatever)' and thats fine. However using that same word as an insult is considered reprehensible.

    There are hundreds of ways to insult people without using 'profanity', and there are hundreds of ways to use 'profanity' without being insulting or offensive. Rules like the one the school system is attempting to implement are at best misguided, and at worst unconstitutional. [/b][/quote]
    Hey Jarred I have a question for you....don't you ever get sick of those Subway sandwhiches?? :D

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Come Back to NY[/i]@Feb 5 2004, 12:11 AM
    [b] [/QUOTE]
    Hey Jarred I have a question for you....don't you ever get sick of those Subway sandwhiches?? :D

    [/b][/quote]
    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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    Here I was actually expecting serious responses... forgot I was on a Jets forum. :P

  7. #7
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    [quote][b]Here I was actually expecting serious responses... forgot I was on a Jets forum.[/b][/quote]

    Get used to it Come Back to NY never has anything intelligent to add to the conversation.

    BTW Gun I'd appreciate it if you didn't use profanity in your topics. ;)

  8. #8
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    Jared - I agree with the thrust of your point. I don't necessarily go as far as saying the rules that the school has are unconstitutional, though.

    But you make a salient point. The problem you run into when you take a position like yours (and mine, since I agree) is that even though we all know what you are saying is essentially true, it becomes very difficult to attach intent or meaning to the words of someone else, apart from the actual dictionary meaning of the specific words uttered. In short, all we have to go on in terms of rules that regulate speech are the actual words spoken. We cannot have people in power (be they at a school, or in a police force) running around and attempting to read people's minds as to their intent, that is getting dangerously close to fascism...especially if we are only talking about individual words. A school board member who disciplines a student and justifies it by saying, "Well, I know that what he [i]actually said [/i]was inocuous, but c'mon, we all know that he [i]meant[/i] X, and that's why he's in trouble." You can run into all sorts of trouble in that area because how the hell ;) does anyone really know what another person is thinking?

    See what I'm getting at? Just playing devil's advocate a bit....

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    What the [b]HELL[/b]? :lol:

  10. #10
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    What if she would have said, "H, E, Double Hockey Sticks"? Does she still get suspended?

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