I Swear You Said Something Different

, , | Learning | May 30, 2017

(One portion of our English Literature GCSE is creative writing. We are taking inspiration from a book we have read in class of a WWII veteran. Several students have asked if they are allowed to swear, to which our teacher addresses the entire class in saying we can include one. I spend a lot of time on mine and focus on WWII life in the trenches, taking further inspiration from family members who experienced it first hand and passed the horrors on. I also include my swear word. She returns our drafts and I have a note on mine saying to speak to her.)

Me: “Was there a problem with my story?”

Teacher: “You included a swear word. That’s very inappropriate.”

Me: “You told us we could.”

Teacher: “Did you ask me?”

Me: “You told the entire class.”

Teacher: “But did you ask ME?”

Me: “Not specifically.”

Teacher: “Well, you can’t unless you ask me.”

Me: “Can I use a swear word in my coursework?”

Teacher: “No.”

Me: “Why not?”

Teacher: “Because it’s inappropriate. Are you even listening?”

(I was put in a one hour detention, the longest you could have before it being escalated further, and I was forced to rewrite the entire thing out again. She refused to let me just alter my original story. After I get it back I see another “See me” note.)

Me: “What’s wrong with this one?”

Teacher: “It’s clear you didn’t care about this one as much as the last; you won’t get as good a grade.”

Me: “Yeah, well, I now have other pieces of coursework to attend to.”

Teacher: “Which is why we give this out early. You should time keep better.”

Me: “You’re the one who’s making me rewrite it!”

Teacher: “Because it’s inappropriate!”

Me: “Well, you have a choice: use the better one, or the second one.”

Teacher: “I have to use the second one.”

Me: “Fine.”

(I stopped acknowledging her in lessons, and eventually she stopped bothering to call out my name on the register. I passed the course but I am still bitter about it, mostly because I later found out several students had used the c-word more than once and she praised them for realism. I used “piss” once and was punished.)

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