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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 (21-25):
boysmom5
by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM
1 mom liked this
I'm sorry, but people who swear all the time sound ignorant. I'll slip up when I'm mad, but try very hard to keep it out of my everyday conversations. I've told my kids that they need to use the vocabulary they have instead to resorting to swearing.
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BrennaLyons
by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Where are their parents? I can tell you that many are right next to them swearing. People in MA are among the most offensive around. I personally reprimand my kids for swearing in public, though they have a little more freedom at home. But I also see other parents in this area (mind you, I'm not FROM this area originally) teaching kids as young as 3 and 4 that it's okay to swear in certain instances...in public. For instance, they teach their kids it's okay to swear at the opposite team in a sporting event. I'm not kidding. When I worked at the schools, we had to deal with parents who didn't understand why they couldn't send kids to school in clothing that included swear words, because they were anti-Yankees, which should be allowed. Rolling eyes. Some parents won't let their kids play sports, because the kids on the opposite team are allowed this verbal abuse, AND parents of the opposite team see nothing wrong with swearing at little kids on the other team. There is very little good sportsmanship taught around here, in my experience...and very little discretion.

atlmom2
by Susie on Oct. 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM
1 mom liked this
Most coaches swear at the kids some especially football and BB coaches.


Quoting BrennaLyons:

Where are their parents? I can tell you that many are right next to them swearing. People in MA are among the most offensive around. I personally reprimand my kids for swearing in public, though they have a little more freedom at home. But I also see other parents in this area (mind you, I'm not FROM this area originally) teaching kids as young as 3 and 4 that it's okay to swear in certain instances...in public. For instance, they teach their kids it's okay to swear at the opposite team in a sporting event. I'm not kidding. When I worked at the schools, we had to deal with parents who didn't understand why they couldn't send kids to school in clothing that included swear words, because they were anti-Yankees, which should be allowed. Rolling eyes. Some parents won't let their kids play sports, because the kids on the opposite team are allowed this verbal abuse, AND parents of the opposite team see nothing wrong with swearing at little kids on the other team. There is very little good sportsmanship taught around here, in my experience...and very little discretion.


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21lisa72
by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

 I dont like when anyone curses at all my husband curses like crazy when he is driving I told him to come up with alternatate words my son is 12 and I dont want him to think its ok to swear. 

I have not caught my son swearing yet but if I do I will definatley repremend him, take away privalages etc

lucsch
by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 4:44 PM

I agree with the author of the article (Jenny?). Freedom of Speech is one thing, but some of the language I hear when I'm out and about in public is obscene! Nevermind that I don't want my 9yo daughter to hear it--I don't want to listen to it, either. To me, it is no different than the ban on smoking. It shouldn't be allowed in public.

I'm dishearten to see such language here, on Cafemom. What are these moms teaching the next generation?

As far as my own kids, they are less  likely than I to curse. In fact, when my middle son was in public high school, he would criticize me when I'd let a word out (sh!t usually when I hurt myself just pops out). He said he hears enough of it at school! I'm glad he feels that way.

Besides, to me, having a potty mouth is very unprofessional. At the last job I had before becoming a SAHM (at the old age of 40, LOL), the men who ran it were nice guys, but their language was embarrassing.


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