Monday, 14 November 2011
Words Can Hurt
Today is the start of anti-bullying week. With the slogan ‘Stop and think – words can hurt’ this year’s campaign is focused on tackling verbal bullying. Young people at the ABA Youth Summit 2010 raised concerns about the negative use of language in schools and the wider community – expressions like ‘you’re so gay’ and words like ‘sket’ and ‘slag’. They saw this as a key indicator of bullying or a hostile environment.
My 7 year old said in the car yesterday: Everyone at school says Justin Beiber is G-U-Y.
Me: A guy?
Her: No, I mean G-A-Y
Me: Do you know what gay means?
Me: You know how mummy and daddy love each other and we are a boy and a girl, well, sometimes girls love each other and boys love each other and that's called being gay. Justin Beiber isn't gay, he has a girlfriend.
Her: Selena Gomez
Me: Yes, they are using it in a derogatory way about him when it shouldn't be seen as an insult.
Her: How many sleeps 'til Christmas?
She'd switched off, after losing interest, when she didn't think a girl loving a girl or a boy loving a boy was that big a deal.
But it shows, how even at a young age, children are learning that words such as gay are an insult. Who do they hear it from? Older siblings? Parents? Who knows, but it's just beginning in Year 3 (aged 7-8). Depressing or what...?