A primary school teacher from New Zealand has asked his pupil’s not to use the word ‘GAY’
Warren Bowers who did his masters degree on homosexuality in education made the statement that from research it appears New Zealand children and teenagers seemed to use "gay" as a negative colloquial, dismissive and disrespectful, or lame term perhaps a lot more than school children in other countries.
"Quite often teachers just ignore it. Teachers will pull kids up on using sexist language, they’ll pull kids up on using racist language but if kids use that word ‘gay’ quite often, they’ll just let it slide." He said. H wanted to research the subject after an eight-year-old girl in one of his classes, with lesbian parents, came to him upset after her classmates used the expression gay "as a bad thing". Bowers talked to pupils in his class and explained the word could be hurtful, and has since had a ban against it in his classes.
"It does need to be explained that homophobic language is not OK, it’s kind of a last bastion of accepted prejudice." Many teachers were probably unaware of the impact of the word, he said. Although most people used it without intending it to be offensive, "it is offensive and it does hurt people’s feelings"
It can be very offensive to people, especially the young, saying this is that is gay, meaning they are lame, bad, not working, isn’t very positive, isn’t well lets not put it lightly, is harsh and hateful.
It is a matter of education, the pupils and the bullies that use the word in that context need to be told that it is hurtful, harmful and homophobic. Kevin Duindam, 17, Monique Hodgkinson, 17, and Helen Ker, 16, are clear indications of the need of such education, because they, as sample school pupils don’t see anything wrong in it’s use as a derogatory term. They said pupils, they conceded they used "gay" from time to time to describe things that were boring or uncool. It’s so accepted into our society, it’s just a fine word," Kevin said. Monique said there was a difference to the context in which it was used. "It’s not good if someone is using it as an offensive word to someone, but if you’re just talking about if the teacher gives you extra homework, that shouldn’t be as bad."
Helen said it would be difficult to ban the word without also banning others such as "lame" or "retarded".