Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Moms with Teens Moms with Teens

Teens Shouldn't Be Allowed to Swear in Public

Posted by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:22 AM
  • 25 Replies

Teens Shouldn't Be Allowed to Swear in Public

Posted by Jenny Erikson

no profanity signLast summer the town of Middleborough, Massachusetts, voted to ban loud, public swearing by enforcing a 1968 law that would allow police to fine violators a $20 fine. Apparently, teenagers and other young people were deterring customers from businesses by being loud and obnoxious in public areas in front of stores.

This week it was reviewed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who said Tuesday that the original bylaw violates First Amendment free speech guarantees. She called for the town to take it off the books or amend it.

I’m an ardent defender of the Bill of Rights, so I can see where this is coming from, but I’m also a defender of public decency. I won’t try to pretend that my kids have never heard a curse word in our own home, but I can completely relate to avoiding areas filled with hooligans setting a bad example.

Yes, we have a right to say what we want. There’s an adage that says, “I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend your right to say it.” The thing is that that only goes so far, and I don’t think it should apply in this case.

Freedom of speech doesn’t cover yelling FIRE in a crowed movie theater when there is none, and it shouldn’t protect public nuisances. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that teenagers shouting obscenities at each other in front of stores that might otherwise be frequented by paying customers are nuisances.

It’s sad that this is even a thing. Where are these children’s parents? Kids will be kids, and they’ll push the boundaries of propriety, sure, but come on people! Wouldn’t you be horrified to know your teenager was out shouting dirty words in the middle of town?

My kids have acted inappropriately in public before, and guess what? They were reprimanded for it. When I was a kid, I did what I thought I could get away with, and now my kids do the same. Why do these kids think they can get away with atrocious behavior like this?

Oh yeah. Because Martha Coakley says they can.

How do you feel when you hear teens cursing in public?

Have you reprimaded your teen for doing so?

 

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
atlmom2
by Susie on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:31 AM
1 mom liked this
Lol, teens will cuss and do cuss, even in school. Just walk the halls.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Alysse24
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM

My freshman told me that his coaches yell 'f*ck' and 'p*ssy' all the time in football practice. How's that for atrocious behavior?

When I'm in public teenagers cuss around me I don't mind that much, that's what they do....however, if my younger kids are with me I simply tell the cussing teens to watch what they say.  I've never had a problem and the kids stop or at least quite down.


atlmom2
by Susie on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:46 AM
My dd had tennis during football practice. What you said was mild that our coach says.


Quoting Alysse24:

My freshman told me that his coaches yell 'f*ck' and 'p*ssy' all the time in football practice. How's that for atrocious behavior?

When I'm in public teenagers cuss around me I don't mind that much, that's what they do....however, if my younger kids are with me I simply tell the cussing teens to watch what they say.  I've never had a problem and the kids stop or at least quite down.



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
MrsBLB
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM

It's all over the place.  I don't condone it and I'm fairly sure mine don't yell cuss words in public.  I ignore it.  

Roo1234
by Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:59 AM
2 moms liked this

Frankly I see more adults than teens being offensive in public.  I have had to explain more swear words to my children thanks to the adults in and around stores.  

As for why kids think they can "get away with it"...poor examples of influential adults in our culture.  Currently there is an anything goes mentality.  The other is that it is the job of teenagers to push boundries and rebel against authority.  Unfortunately, we are back to the "authority' of our current culture is offensive and often irresponsible so when the teens push, they reach farther.

1moretolove
by Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 12:23 PM
2 moms liked this
I think anyone that uses loud profanity in public, whether adult or teen, is rude and offensive.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
FindersKeepers
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM
2 moms liked this

They didn't need another LAW for this... 'Loitering' is already not allowed in many shopping centers... They should have hired a good security company that moves along the teens so that paying customers can get in and out without being bothered.  

Making it about 'profanity' is ridiculous.  That does infringe on free speach and would only encourage these obnoxious teens to be worse. 

fantasticfour
by Grumpy on Oct. 12, 2012 at 5:55 PM

My teens have never dropped a cuss word in front of me, but it would be handled if they did!  I think that a law banning cussing in public is appropriate, seeing how if you and I were talking and I cussed at you it would be considered assault and ILLEGAL. 

annie2244
by Silver Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 6:38 PM
1 mom liked this

In public or private, swearing, vulgarity, is not classy, and is offensive. A lot of people have personal standards for their own behavior - regardless of whether a public or private setting, they see this as beneath them, not who they are. This would include my family, teenagers included, my neigbors, my colleagues, my friends, about 90% of my extended family.  I would bet my inner city public school teen hears it around her in school hallways. But she doesn't talk like that, nor her friends. It's fairly rare that I overhear it among others in my day to day life. It's ugly, angry, base. I don't want it in my life. Thankfully, it's not.

I wish it could be illegal. Like second hand smoke, second hand profanity pollutes my life! But I think states that have enacted these laws in the past have had them struck down as unconstitutional.

Jessiejack
by Silver Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Sorry but I have to toon in on this one since it is my home town. We have a first amendment law that protects us aganist stupied laws like this. I agree that this small group of teens hanging around are rude and disrespecful but I dont see how punishing the rest of us is fair. The law made it so if my DH, and I use him as an exaple becasue his mouth gets a little bad when something is not going his way. So if he was out in the yard working and he yelled a swear because he hit his head or banged his finger, (happens a lot) he could get fined. Just not right. The town needs to increase patrols and kick the kids out. For the most part it is a very nice, quiet, small town and I love living here. But its the few teens and their parents that need a lesson. And add "Go Martha Coakley"

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN