Teacher removes word "gay" from Deck the Halls

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Linda7NJ, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

    Messages:
    30,907
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/trendin...teacher-removing-word-gay-deck-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.
     
  2. Loading...


  3. Nova

    Nova Active Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    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?)
     
  4. deelytful1

    deelytful1 *~a mere mortal~*

    Messages:
    2,928
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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)
     
  5. krimekat

    krimekat Amazed and Baffled

    Messages:
    5,878
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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.
     
  6. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

    Messages:
    19,248
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    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?".
     
  7. EGirl

    EGirl #RockportStrong

    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    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
     
  8. Nova

    Nova Active Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    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.
     
  9. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

    Messages:
    17,195
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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.
     
  10. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

    Messages:
    30,907
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    BRAVO!!! I couldn't agree more
     
  11. Jack

    Jack New Member

    Messages:
    2,910
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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.
     
  12. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

    Messages:
    75,255
    Likes Received:
    270
    Trophy Points:
    83


    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.
     
  13. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

    Messages:
    75,255
    Likes Received:
    270
    Trophy Points:
    83

    Exactly! And with a group of 1st and 2nd graders, all she needed to do was explain what the word meant in the context of this song. No need for her, as a teacher, to take it any further. I really doubt a 1st or 2nd grader would have been as boisterous as say a 4th or 5th grader to challenge her verbally. The teacher really made a much bigger deal over this than necessary.

    jmo
     
  14. Nova

    Nova Active Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    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.
     
  15. ziggy

    ziggy New Member

    Messages:
    4,750
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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.
     
  16. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

    Messages:
    23,795
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It was a teachable moment. One that other teachers will have to pay for. What did the kids learn?

    Pick a word, any word and giggle. Teacher will quit that word.

    So Spelling, giggle giggle. Math, giggle giggle.
     
  17. butwhatif?

    butwhatif? New Member

    Messages:
    3,594
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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
     
  18. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

    Messages:
    30,907
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I could not sing that with a straight face.:blushing::floorlaugh:
     
  19. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

    Messages:
    17,195
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I never learned that nursey rhyme but I did hear it as a teen. My Mother and I heard it being sung in the alleyway by some kids. I remember my Mom said who in their right mind wouldn't take the time to explain the use of that word to kids and tell them how hurtful it really is?

    But then again, it brought back a memory for me. Although I was born in 1961 it is my Mother (who is only 16 years younger than me) that was truly a child of the 60's.

    She had very liberal views (at the time concerning race) and I am very grateful she passed them onto me as a very young child. OT but I've shared that my Daddy (adoptive stepfather) marched with MLK.

    So when I learned the Kentucky state song in grade school and came home to sing it for her she sat down and talked to me about the use of the word "darkie" in it. Why it was used when the song was written and what connotations are connected to it at the time I learned it.

    That lyric was changed by the time my oldest daughter learned the song.

    At the time I had no problem with it being changed and in fact I agreed with it's change.

    The actual lyric changed was:

    "Tis summer the darkie's are gay"

    However, I now have a different point of view. It would be a multidimensional lesson if children were being taught the song in 2011 to know the original lyrics. A lesson in music, a lesson in our not so distant past, a lesson in acceptance and a lesson in the struggles of that minority to attain equal rights...

    But to be honest, my views have changed drastically from 25 yrs of age to 50 yrs of age and if you ask me when I'm 75 they will probably be even more different.

    Oh and I'd leave in the gay part too when I taught them both versions. :)

    I don't allow the use of racial slurs in my home or sweeping generalizations of any race. My children themselves are multiracial. And another totally off topic comment while I'm at it haha---I don't agree with teaching a child that they are so unique. I rather focus on teaching my children just how much they are alike others. That way hopefully they don't see themselves as seperate and unique but a part of the human race as a whole and can develop more compassion and empathy for others.

    boy I went off topic! sorry all.
     
  20. Nova

    Nova Active Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Kat, as you can see, I agree with you in general about the importance of allowing past works to stay unchanged for educational purposes.

    But the state song? Surely that should be something everyone can sing without cringing, even if a little bit of history is lost.

    (And now, thanks to you, I'm off to look up the original Stephen Foster lyrics to Florida's state song. God only knows what's in them!)

    ETA: sure enough, the state has changed the lyrics to "The Swanee River (Old Folks at Home)" since I was a kid.

    The longed for "plantation" is now a "childhood station" (whatever that is).

    And "darkies" have become "dear ones". (How sweet!)


    http://flheritage.com/kids/symbol.cfm?id=19
     
  21. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

    Messages:
    17,195
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    0
    LOL Nova.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice