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Opening Arguments

A damn fine plan

Man, that's some creative teaching:

In a case of the devil you know, an Indiana high school is trying to teach students what not to say by having them write it down.

In a lesson on cursing, students at the Thomas Carr Howe High School in Indianapolis were asked to spell out the curse words they know.

"And everyone was nervous about it and uncomfortable about it, to write it in front of an adult, especially a teacher," Grade 7 student Viazell Gaither told CNN.

The kids were then asked to say the words aloud and explain to their classmates they are offensive.

School officials say the unusual lesson is a means of allowing teachers to gain some measure of control over what comes out of their students' mouths, and has had some effect when used in the past.

Sort of silly. Words are offensive only because we decide they are, and it's more often than not the intent that's offensive rather than the actual meaning. The reason kids love to curse is precisely because of the taboo. I'm not sure giving them a one-time permission to say the words aloud will mean much in the long run. Wonder what the parents think of this exercise? If I had had such a high school class, I expect I would have pushed the experiment to the limit with a couple of words so toxic it's still shocking to hear them said out loud.

Next on the curriculum, learning that theft is wrong by stealing lunch money and asking the victims how they feel about it, and "beating up on the small kids" as a way to understand the negative impact of violence. Hey, kids, might want to call in sick when they get around to the drive-by-shooting unit.