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Teens Shouldn't Be Allowed to Swear in Public

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
Replies (11-20):
by Kimberly on Oct. 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM

I ignore it.   There are many words that I find offensive that are not "curse" words.  When I hear teens cursing, I just think it is funny.   They are trying to act cool......they need acting lessons!  Groups of teens, young adults, seniors, etc should not be loitering around entrances to shops, period.  

My sons do curse, I won't deny it.    They also know to watch their mouths in or around 'delicate company', meaning children, seniors, ladies, etc.    They have been taught common courtesy and understand that their rights end when they are infringing on someone else's rights.

Sure, they have slipped up.    We were waiting outside a restaurant recently, we were with a large party and were waiting for our table.   My sons, along with my neices and nephew were fooling around and one of my boys cursed...just as an elderly lady was getting walking by.   My son did not have to be reminded...he simply looked at her and said "excuse my language, Ma'am."

by Susie on Oct. 12, 2012 at 8:36 PM
1 mom liked this

Worse things in life.  Rather have them cuss then drinking, smoking or having sex. 

Come join me at The Duggars Debate, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:50 PM
1 mom liked this

Good luck... I think there are many more things that are of importance and cussing isn't one of them.

by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 2:19 AM
1 mom liked this

I personally do not like swearing, I think it is lazy and immature. I hate it when I hear anyone swearing in public, but especially teenagers. My daughter has said swear words in front of me and yes I've reprimand and disciplined her for doing so. I've also had instances where some of her friends have said swear words in front of me and in those instances I reprimand them and tell them that we do not use that language in this house.

I'm not foolish, I know that almost all teenagers swear and my daughter has admitted to me that she does swear "a little" around her friends. I've expressed my displeasure with this but told her that if she really feels the need the use that kind of language with her friends then she needs to make sure that it is only her friends around when she uses it. She also knows that she is never allowed to use that kind of language around the house and if she does she'll have to suffer the consequences.

by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 2:53 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't think it should have to be outlawed and criminalized for teens to learn good manners and respect.  I don't like it when teens cuss loudly in public, because I feel that it generally implies that they don't care whether they offend people, and they don't think about others around them.  But what really bothers me is when teens (or adults) cuss in front of children.  I feel like that is really inconsiderate, disrespectful, and rude.  My girls didn't cuss in front of adults because they really didn't ever make a habit out of cussing in general.  I had always taught them that it is difficult to be beautiful with ugly words coming out of your mouth, and people respect your opinion more when you can articulate what you're trying to say without using cuss words for emphasis.  Cussing in certain environments isn't looked upon favorably and is not the best way for a well educated, smart girl to express herself.

by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 3:20 AM
Wellp if i was in that town i would rack up a couple thousand bucks. F**k that.
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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 7:22 AM

 It's not a battle that I would pick. 

by Silver Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 10:06 AM

my kids never swear in front of me but bet they do when i am not around I never swear in front of them it all starts in the home if it goes on in home they grow up doing it everywhere

by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM
1 mom liked this

i don't think anyone should cuss in public adults or teens we should all watch our mouth.. however there's going to be those who don't care and will do as they please.. that part there's not much you can do about.. i don't like my teens cussing and tell them constantly to stop because it is disrespectful... but how they talk to their friends is up to them really i am not there so i can do anything about it... i think if you going to  tell teens to not cuss then adults should be willing to give it up too...

by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:30 AM
1 mom liked this

Frankly, I don't like the "F" word no matter who it is coming from. I would reprimand my son if I heard him say it, and he used to reprimand other people if he heard them say it. To my surprise he is now dating a girl who uses it all the time, I'm still in shock.

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