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  1. #1
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    Teacher removes word "gay" from Deck the Halls

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending...164802191.html

    One parent said, "By taking the word 'gay' out of 'Deck the Halls,' you are making it a big deal. One word can have different meanings." Another parent voiced, "Can one word in a 150-year-old classic Christmas carol really offend someone?" The negative comments have since been deleted from the school's Facebook page, and wall posts have been disabled. Cherry Knoll Principal Chris Parker is on the parents' side, saying, "This would have been a great opportunity to teach that 'gay' has more than one meaning and is not a bad word." In response to the controversy over the word change, the original lyrics have now been restored.


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  3. #2
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    ...the original lyrics have now been restored.
    Good. I really don't care for the recent use of the word "gay" as slang for lame, stupid or uncool; but I don't know a single gay person who ever intended to eradicate the use of the word to mean happy or carefree. I certainly see no reason to rewrite the classics.

    So I have no idea what inspired this nonsense.

    (ETA I see now: the first- and second-graders giggled at the word. Teachable moment, anyone?)


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    From what I heard and read, the children were young and they were chuckling at the word "gay" in the song every time they sang it. I'm sure the teacher wasn't trying to create some big controversy or make a statement.. she just wanted her class to get through the song. My son chuckles every time he hears the word duty (like kitchen duty) because it sounds like doody!
    I'm sure this was ALL very innocent and NOT meant to be a slap in the face of homosexuality!

    OT: i hope the school and the community have the same reaction when their politicians try to take the words "Under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance! Our priorities are so skewed in this country! UGH (MOO)
    It's just MOO. I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time and it surely won't be the last!

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    Quote Originally Posted by deelytful1 View Post
    From what I heard and read, the children were young and they were chuckling at the word "gay" in the song every time they sang it. I'm sure the teacher wasn't trying to create some big controversy or make a statement.. she just wanted her class to get through the song. My son chuckles every time he hears the word duty (like kitchen duty) because it sounds like doody!
    I'm sure this was ALL very innocent and NOT meant to be a slap in the face of homosexuality!

    OT: i hope the school and the community have the same reaction when their politicians try to take the words "Under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance! Our priorities are so skewed in this country! UGH (MOO)
    BBM: my class did this, too, back in 1982. The music teacher was so irate, demanded for us to tell him "what is so funny?", and taught us that the word gay had many meanings. Of course, we all knew the other definitions, but boy, we sang that song with no laughter after the speech he gave us!

    But back then when adults commanded respect, we gave it to them, especially teachers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deelytful1 View Post
    ...I'm sure this was ALL very innocent and NOT meant to be a slap in the face of homosexuality!....
    I haven't been appointed to speak for all members of my tribe, but I am one gay man to whom it never occurred that dropping the word "gay" was motivated by homophobia.


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    It seems that if the teachers authority couldn't stop the children from laughing it would have been simpler to choose another song for the children to sing. If it's a song that everybody knows and you go and change the words that one word that's missing is going to be highlighted in their thoughts and I bet they would rather have the parents think, "Oh what a lovely song, there is so much Christmas spirit, well done children" than, "didn't there used to be the word gay in this song?".


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  13. #7
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    It may have been easier to choose another song, but no one ever said teaching was easy. You use this situation to TEACH the kids what the word means in the context of the song and you also iterate that you expect them to be respectful when singing the song.

    The easy way out is dumbing down our kids at an alarming rate. IMO


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    I have a very general issue about censoring. So my issue isn't with what the word now represents in popular culture as a slang term.

    This kind of reminded me of the convo we all had earlier about schools changing the words in Mark Twain books that reflect the language usage at the time and the general pervasive cultural ideals about certain minorities in our society.

    They are teaching moments I agree. They shouldn't be removed or censored but used as a way to show that times change and attitudes are constantly changing and hopefully we are moving in a better direction. JMHO. But then again I'm a pollyanna at times.


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  17. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat View Post
    I have a very general issue about censoring. So my issue isn't with what the word now represents in popular culture as a slang term.

    This kind of reminded me of the convo we all had earlier about schools changing the words in Mark Twain books that reflect the language usage at the time and the general pervasive cultural ideals about certain minorities in our society.

    They are teaching moments I agree. They shouldn't be removed or censored but used as a way to show that times change and attitudes are constantly changing and hopefully we are moving in a better direction. JMHO. But then again I'm a pollyanna at times.
    BRAVO!!! I couldn't agree more


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat View Post
    I have a very general issue about censoring. So my issue isn't with what the word now represents in popular culture as a slang term.

    This kind of reminded me of the convo we all had earlier about schools changing the words in Mark Twain books that reflect the language usage at the time and the general pervasive cultural ideals about certain minorities in our society.

    They are teaching moments I agree. They shouldn't be removed or censored but used as a way to show that times change and attitudes are constantly changing and hopefully we are moving in a better direction. JMHO. But then again I'm a pollyanna at times.
    I tend to agree with you about censorship.

    But when I was a kid 50 years ago, the "N word" (hate that phrase) had already been retired from the children's rhyme:

    "Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe,
    Catch a n_______ by the toe..."

    And I think that's a case where censorship was a good thing. Changing the "N word" to "tiger" didn't hurt the nursery rhyme, it improved it.

    But the word "gay" is not a derogatory word to gay people, it it our word of choice. That is also has other, non-derogatory, "non-gay" meanings is perfectly acceptable and should have been an opportunity to teach the various uses and meanings of language.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    I tend to agree with you about censorship.

    But when I was a kid 50 years ago, the "N word" (hate that phrase) had already been retired from the children's rhyme:

    "Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe,
    Catch a n_______ by the toe..."

    And I think that's a case where censorship was a good thing. Changing the "N word" to "tiger" didn't hurt the nursery rhyme, it improved it.

    But the word "gay" is not a derogatory word to gay people, it it our word of choice. That is also has other, non-derogatory, "non-gay" meanings is perfectly acceptable and should have been an opportunity to teach the various uses and meanings of language.
    Hey Nova - I've got gay men friends who will gaylee (how do you spell that anyway?) sing, "Don is now in gay apparel fa la la la la la..." etc. We laugh, we smile, who cares? Nobody really. We didn't know what gay was when I was in school, but I'm sure it is a teachable moment and let's face it, sometimes we (OK I guess I'm only going to speak for myself but...) I TOTALLY GIVE IN TO JUVENILE HUMOR AT TIMES. Explain the meaning of the word, let them giggle and snicker and move on.
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  23. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    I tend to agree with you about censorship.

    But when I was a kid 50 years ago, the "N word" (hate that phrase) had already been retired from the children's rhyme:

    "Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe,
    Catch a n_______ by the toe..."

    And I think that's a case where censorship was a good thing. Changing the "N word" to "tiger" didn't hurt the nursery rhyme, it improved it.

    But the word "gay" is not a derogatory word to gay people, it it our word of choice. That is also has other, non-derogatory, "non-gay" meanings is perfectly acceptable and should have been an opportunity to teach the various uses and meanings of language.
    Do you know it wasn't until I was an adult that I realised it was the N word, and not knicker? Most nursery rhymes don't make a whole lot of sense anyway.

    There's so many changes going on with nursery rhymes and kids songs now that I think are going way OTT....like Baa Baa rainbow sheep instead of Baa Baa Black sheep.

    "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree" has a line that goes: Laugh, Kookaburra laugh, Kookaburra gay your life must be."....and they want to change that too.
    It's generally adults who take issue with it, not kids.
    If kids are giggling over a word, why not open up the dictionary and show them that it has multiple meanings. Gay= happy or merry.

    My kids school song has the line "sing for cox, sing for ........" (cox being the name of their sporting team). I've only once seen a teacher give the kids 'that look' when they delieberately sang the word louder.

    Meanwhile I have to pinch myself to stop from giggling. Sadly those kids are more mature than I am. LOL


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    Quote Originally Posted by butwhatif? View Post
    Do you know it wasn't until I was an adult that I realised it was the N word, and not knicker? Most nursery rhymes don't make a whole lot of sense anyway.

    There's so many changes going on with nursery rhymes and kids songs now that I think are going way OTT....like Baa Baa rainbow sheep instead of Baa Baa Black sheep.

    "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree" has a line that goes: Laugh, Kookaburra laugh, Kookaburra gay your life must be."....and they want to change that too.
    It's generally adults who take issue with it, not kids.
    If kids are giggling over a word, why not open up the dictionary and show them that it has multiple meanings. Gay= happy or merry.

    My kids school song has the line "sing for cox, sing for ........" (cox being the name of their sporting team). I've only once seen a teacher give the kids 'that look' when they delieberately sang the word louder.

    Meanwhile I have to pinch myself to stop from giggling. Sadly those kids are more mature than I am. LOL
    I could not sing that with a straight face.


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  27. #14
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    I once knew a woman who was named 'Gay'. I wonder if this teacher would have not addressed my friend by her first name because it made some kids giggle? Perhaps teacher should have taken the opportunity to teach these kids that the word gay has several meanings.


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  29. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I once knew a woman who was named 'Gay'. I wonder if this teacher would have not addressed my friend by her first name because it made some kids giggle? Perhaps teacher should have taken the opportunity to teach these kids that the word gay has several meanings.


    Teacher and the parents. As a parent, I have already taken the time to explain some of the dual meanings of several words.

    From the link in the OP:
    First- and second-graders would not stop giggling when they sang the word "gay."

    Seriously, we are talking about 1st and 2nd graders here, who will likely giggle about a great many things. I know my 3rd grade son still does. They need to know when it is not appropriate to laugh or giggle in class. Period.
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