From the “Really? REALLY?” files…we have this story of a Danville, MA principal who has auto-called parents of his students to warn them of inappropriate language that would, if used, lead to suspensions. What, pray tell, was the foul language that warranted this level of concern? What new profanity hath the internet and youthful disinhibition wrought? Should I place an age-rating or an adult-content warning on this post?
That’s the word. Meep.
“The name of the alien in the Phineas and Ferb Episode by the (almost) same name?”
As a former kid who would have found this funny, I can see the random joy to be found in a word like this. Meep has a certain vague quality that allows for multiple usages. The fact that adults get really fired up about it? That’s just a bonus. The fact that its usage could trigger a robo-call and national press? Double bonus. More importantly, though, I think this story speaks volumes about the ugly little secret a lot of us don’t want to admit.
A lot of people are afraid of adolescents.
It’s easy to believe only the worst of them, to assume that every utterance or gesture to be a gang sign or drug reference. The media feeds this fear by showing us only the teens who wreak mayhem on their communities- or by painting squeaky-clean pictures of those who don’t reinforce that stereotype. It can become hard to imagine that adolescents are complete people, capable of being whimsical and funny and silly for no reason at all.
I think that’s what makes folks like us different. By taking the risk and getting to know our students well, we aren’t afraid of the Meep. We can laugh about it with the relaxed knowledge that it’s just silliness. We don’t need to be afraid of our students because we know them for the complex, messy, totally human creatures that they are.
So on that note, I leave you with this. Have nice weekend!