collegian

Profanity in the classroom?

By Tabitha Barr / Editor in Chief

Students grow up learning that school is a place to learn and to use language that is professional and courteous.

In high school, curse words and anything inappropriate was often not allowed to be said. But college is a new experience that differs in rules. More freedom is given to students because it’s the last step before the real world.

It depends on the instructor or professor, the class, and the students to decide what language is appropriate to use in the classroom. General education classes tend to have a more professional setting. These are the classes that set the guidelines for the future and what future jobs will expect.

Brooklyn Butler, a Hutchinson freshman majoring in Secondary Education-English, said she goes into classes seeing it as something to be focused and serious about.

“I have always seen classes as a good setup for future expectations set by employers,” Butler said.

Butler said she grew up being told that she needs to give off a good impression in these types of situations. Using profanity can cause problems to arise and people to become uncomfortable.

“I personally don’t curse in my classes, because I have been told that cursing does not give off a good impression, and try my best to not upset anyone around who might get offended by it,” Butler said.

She says that it’s rare for her teachers to use profane language and if they do, apologies follow right after.

Butler said she understands why teachers don’t let students curse in class because “they are trying to help us get ready for our future where most employers don’t deal with cursing.”

It also helps to set the boundaries of respect towards those in charge and teaches students to abide by the rules to keep their class or job.

Steven Danner, a Nickerson freshman studying Auto Body Collision Repair, says that it depends on the class whether or not that kind of language is used.

“If it’s a major that reflects your profession, approach it with professionalism,” Danner said.

A teacher could happen to be a future reference for job opportunities, and if they don’t see a student as professional because of their profane language used in class, a job opportunity might be lost by a simple thing that could have been avoided.

Although Danner sees the seriousness of inappropriate language in class, he’s sometimes guilty of using it himself.

“I often curse when I hurt myself or when I mess something up,” Danner said. “It isn’t loud, and I don’t do it if a customer is getting an estimate from one of the instructors.”

Language often depends on the time and situation in the classroom. Butler said she feels that in most circumstances, profane language doesn’t matter. The only time it could be a problem is when “writing a paper of giving a presentation because word choice is a key factor in obtaining your audience’s attention.”

Danner agrees that “if it’s reactionary to pain or frustration, and not intended to be an insult,” there should be no reason for repercussions.

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