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Hypothetical: Kid makes inappropriate joke

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

What do you do?

1. Let it slide. Carry on the lesson. It’s just a joke (albeit a very improper one).
41
41%
2. Tell the student off sternly and explain why you think it’s a problem, then carry on
45
45%
3. Go further and assign detention
2
2%
4. Punish not just the one student, but everyone who laughed
3
3%
5. Other
10
10%
 
Total votes : 101

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Infected Mushroom
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Hypothetical: Kid makes inappropriate joke

Postby Infected Mushroom » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:54 pm

Please consider the following hypothetical:

You are a Canadian high school English teacher. You just came back from a holiday in the USA.

In the news, there’s a mass murderer with a sniper in the USA (not in the city you visited). This killer killed 4 people and wounded 5 others before being stopped by the authorities.

In your morning class, somehow this topic was broached so you say to your students:

“It’s really sad. Sometimes people get angry and do evil things and innocent people end up getting hurt. I wish it didn’t happen; but I won’t pretend otherwise, I don’t want to shield you from the real world.”

One of the popular kids suddenly speaks up with a smile and says:

“Hey didn’t you just come back from America? He didn’t get you while you were there? DAMNNNNN...”

The other students laugh and some exchange high fives. Some students look at you uneasily, kind of smiling.

What do you do in response?

Options:

1. Let it slide. Carry on the lesson. It’s just a joke (albeit a very improper one).
2. Tell the student off sternly and explain why you think it’s a problem, then carry on
3. Go further and assign detention
4. Punish not just the one student, but everyone who laughed
5. Other


Assume that the student who made the joke is a bit of a mild troublemaker but not the type who deals drugs, vandalized things, or bullies others.

Please justify.

I’d go with Option 2. The students should be told that it’s not right to make such jokes but since it’s a one off incident involving only speech, I don’t think escalation is necessary.
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:27 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Sanghyeok
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Postby Sanghyeok » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:59 pm

I would probably choose the first option.
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Postby Sundiata » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:15 pm

Two.

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Garbelia
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Postby Garbelia » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:19 pm

Definitely number 4. The ones who laugh are just as bad. If all the troublemakers are out of class, I might actually get to do some teaching!
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Saint Kanye
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Postby Saint Kanye » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:28 pm

Infected Mushroom wrote:“Hey didn’t you just come back from America? He didn’t get you while you were there? DAMNNNNN...”


"No, because I was at my hotel room doing yo mama."

Seriously though, Option 1. If he sees you don't care about his stupid jokes maybe he'll stop.
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Postby Comerciante » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:35 pm

A little bit of Option 2 but mostly Option 1.

A joke isn't worth getting riled up for.
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Postby Risottia » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:59 pm

Infected Mushroom wrote:“Hey didn’t you just come back from America? He didn’t get you while you were there? DAMNNNNN...”

"Of course he didn't. The one the Yanks got is just a poor fellow I framed while I got away to carry on with my killing rampage here."
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The Free Joy State
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Postby The Free Joy State » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:03 am

If that's his only comment, I'd carry on with the lesson (perhaps while raising an eyebrow, but that would depend on the age of the boy -- a show of eyebrow dexterity has previously quelled misbehaviour in some younger children).

To disrupt the learning of the other students would be poor judgment on my part and would risk escalation of behaviour that would have otherwise settled down.

A classroom wiseass craves attention; why give him what he wants to the detriment of the other students?

EDIT: Though, I wouldn't address high school students in such babying language (especially when they probably have already seen it on the news) -- while I'm at it -- i.e. "It's sad. There are some bad people in the world." That might make him more likely to act in a cocky manner to try to demonstrate -- in teenage bravado style -- that he isn't to be babied. I remember one teacher who used to try to infantilise my top set PHSE when we were 15-16. Misbehaviour was always higher in her class.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:47 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Esternial
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Postby Esternial » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:18 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:The other students laugh and some exchange high fives.

High fives for that? Wow hypothetical Canadians are lame af.

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Disgraces
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Postby Disgraces » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:24 am

4) Kids gotta learn to respect their teachers.

Esternial wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:The other students laugh and some exchange high fives.

High fives for that? Wow hypothetical Canadians are lame af.

Lmfao
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The Free Joy State
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Postby The Free Joy State » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:27 am

Esternial wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:The other students laugh and some exchange high fives.

High fives for that? Wow hypothetical Canadians are lame af.

Maybe they're hypothetical fictional teens from mid-90s television -- they tended to be written as speaking like that and being easier to impress than other teens.

We're watching the premier episode of The Fresh Prince of IM Land, maybe?
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Cetacea
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Postby Cetacea » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:02 am

A similar thing happened to me when I was about 13, I cant remember the specifics but I think we were reading Adrian Mole in an English class, having a class discussion about the personality of PE teachers and I said something like “its probably because people who become PE Teachers are all obsessives wankers”

The class teacher didnt like that and I got detention. Personally I would have said thats not appropriate then moves on ...

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The Free Joy State
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Postby The Free Joy State » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:15 am

Cetacea wrote:A similar thing happened to me when I was about 13, I cant remember the specifics but I think we were reading Adrian Mole in an English class, having a class discussion about the personality of PE teachers and I said something like “its probably because people who become PE Teachers are all obsessives wankers”

The class teacher didnt like that and I got detention. Personally I would have said thats not appropriate then moves on ...

I can remember (some) of my teachers, and a lot of my classmates made those kinds of comments over the years. In terms of effectiveness (being able to command respect of a class and instruct a class on to receive good grades), the ones that shouted and brought harsh punishments for everything (rather than saving punishment only for serious offenses and shouting for when it was urgently warranted) were among the least effective.

There were others who did nothing when the odd remark was made unless it became repetitive and disruptive to other students (that was effective), or gave a knowing smile or a cheeky "You may think that, I couldn't possibly comment"... we did fairly well and there wasn't much misbeviour in those classes, either.

One teacher went the whole hog, and would tell some kids they were rank amateurs, before telling us (not overtly, but using flowery language to describe the insult -- which was more amusing) some of the things that some of the kids had been calling the headmaster. He had good classroom control, too.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Page » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:32 am

Garbelia wrote:Definitely number 4. The ones who laugh are just as bad. If all the troublemakers are out of class, I might actually get to do some teaching!


Laughter is an involuntary response, it seems pretty fucked up to punish someone for it.
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Postby Radiatia » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:37 am

I actually was that kid.

I remember I once said something very inappropriate along those lines to a teacher who had just returned from London in the wake of the 7/7 bombings, and it's something I still regret to this day.

At the time I was just a 15 year old shithead who thought he was cool and funny, but since then I can't believe I'd make light of something like that. If I had a time machine, I'd go back in time to punch my teenage self in the face.

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Postby The Alma Mater » Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:32 am

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A-Series-Of-Tubes
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Postby A-Series-Of-Tubes » Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:35 am

5. Other. Joke back.

A joke I'm the butt of, said to my face (after raising a hand even) is a direct challenge. If I take it as an insult, I'm going to throw that kid out of class right away and be sure they get at least one full detention.

Now I'm not saying I would do this, because I might not be able to think fast enough, but I'd try to make it a competition of jokes rather than of power. Like "Oh I was there, I took three bullets but that's nothing. I'm fine."

There's an incongruity in your story. It seems like the sort of thing a kid who hates the class, and WANTS to be thrown out, would say. But they're not typically the POPULAR kids. There could be some kind of cry for help going on here? Try and set them up with the school psychologist/counsellor?

Anyway, given that this one is popular you have to react somehow or you'll be getting the same from other kids. Try and shape it into (less nasty) jokes at the start of class, or at the end of class (both times when it's hard to get the kids' attention) rather than just punishing kids one after the other.

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Garbelia
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Postby Garbelia » Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:54 am

Page wrote:
Garbelia wrote:Definitely number 4. The ones who laugh are just as bad. If all the troublemakers are out of class, I might actually get to do some teaching!


Laughter is an involuntary response, it seems pretty fucked up to punish someone for it.

I spent 6 years of my life listening to tiny children giggling, and I detest it. The only way to stop it it harsh punishment to all those little children showing disrespect to their elders. Ban laughter!
I suppose this is where I put stuff about my nation and how amazing it is. So I will. LONG LIVE GARBELIA! Nation does not currently represent my political views fully.

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A-Series-Of-Tubes
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Postby A-Series-Of-Tubes » Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:57 am

Cetacea wrote:A similar thing happened to me when I was about 13, I cant remember the specifics but I think we were reading Adrian Mole in an English class, having a class discussion about the personality of PE teachers and I said something like “its probably because people who become PE Teachers are all obsessives wankers”

The class teacher didnt like that and I got detention. Personally I would have said thats not appropriate then moves on ...


Maybe you struck out with the one English teacher in the country who actually likes PE teachers.

Or ambiguity. Kids respond well to "wankers" because it's funny either way. But adults tend to double check which makes it less funny for them. "PE teachers are self-obsessed and self-important, well that's true but not funny, or PE teachers literally masturbate at every opportunity, which is funny but not true ... hmm". We all have a limited time to get a given joke, and if we have to think about it longer than that, it's not funny.

Maybe "PE teachers all start out scrawny like you Miss, but keep carrying that dictionary and you'll bulk up!"

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Postby -Astoria- » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:03 am

First option.

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Postby Salandriagado » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:06 am

That's a clear violation of the behaviour policy, so obvious detention.
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Anachronous Rex wrote:Good thing most a majority of people aren't so small-minded, and frightened of other's sexuality.

Over 40% (including me), are, so I fixed the post for accuracy.

Vilatania wrote:
Salandriagado wrote:
Notice that the link is to the notes from a university course on probability. You clearly have nothing beyond the most absurdly simplistic understanding of the subject.
By choosing 1, you no longer have 0 probability of choosing 1. End of subject.

(read up the quote stack)

Deal. £3000 do?[/quote]

Of course.[/quote]

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Postby A-Series-Of-Tubes » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:11 am

Salandriagado wrote:That's a clear violation of the behaviour policy, so obvious detention.


Is it strictly-speaking class time, though, if the teacher is talking about their foreign trip?

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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:30 am

Put the kid permanently on a register so that they are never allowed to actively participate in public life.
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Salandriagado
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Postby Salandriagado » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:32 am

A-Series-Of-Tubes wrote:
Salandriagado wrote:That's a clear violation of the behaviour policy, so obvious detention.


Is it strictly-speaking class time, though, if the teacher is talking about their foreign trip?


Yes. They're in the classroom, it's class time.
Cosara wrote:
Anachronous Rex wrote:Good thing most a majority of people aren't so small-minded, and frightened of other's sexuality.

Over 40% (including me), are, so I fixed the post for accuracy.

Vilatania wrote:
Salandriagado wrote:
Notice that the link is to the notes from a university course on probability. You clearly have nothing beyond the most absurdly simplistic understanding of the subject.
By choosing 1, you no longer have 0 probability of choosing 1. End of subject.

(read up the quote stack)

Deal. £3000 do?[/quote]

Of course.[/quote]

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