Bad words: Let’s Talk about Cussing in Middle School
When my girls were in the 2nd grade, they came home one day and told me boys in their class had said some “bad words”. I had been anticipating this moment for a while and was ready to explain to them some of the words they had heard.
“What did they say?” I asked.
They called someone STUPID!” They replied.
OK… I thought. Maybe I’ve been too overprotective. Other children in their school were surely using actual four-letter words. I didn’t want my girls to grow up too fast, but I worried they might look foolish if I sheltered them too much. “If they think stupid is a bad word,” I wondered, “What would happen if one of them actually gets called a cuss word? Will other kids laugh at them for being so naive?”
Thus began my daughter’s education in “inappropriate language”. That day, I explained the difference between a cuss word and a put down. “Both are not nice,” I explained, “but cuss words are types of words that are considered really offensive and can get you (and even grown-ups) in trouble, depending on where and how you use them.”
Flash forward to middle school
Now that my girls are in middle school, I hear cuss words abound. As an educator, I understand that in some sense, cussing is a right of passage.