North Arlington, NJ – Catholic school girls, students at the Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington, are being asked to take a no-cursing vow. The girls have taken an oath not to utter a whisper of a single expletive or unleash an explicit woven litany of obscenities for 30 days.
In unison, the girls swore:
“I do solemnly swear not to use profanities of any kind within the walls and properties of Queen of Peace High School. In other words, I swear not to swear. So help me God.”
Lori Flynn, the teacher behind the civility campaign, says the foundation of the concept is simple:
“We want ladies to act like ladies.”
The school’s principal, Brother Larry Lavallee, agrees an action needs to be taken regarding the carefree use of inappropriate language the girls use as part of their everyday vernacular.
But what about young men acting like gentlemen? The male students did not participate in the pledging ceremony Friday. Some are calling foul and questioning the double standard and fairness of the vulgarity restriction. Educators at the school seem to think if the girls make an effort to curb their unladylike language the concept of good manners may rub off on the boys.
Research by psychologist Timothy Jay, a professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and author of “Why We Curse,” states men are typically more profane. Generally, people who are more extroverted, dominant, and hostile tend to swear more. Given the ubiquitousness of iniquitous language in our culture, Jay estimates people on average utter 80 to 90 taboo words a day. Terms connote a sexual, scatological, and blasphemous tone. Swearing has become a persistent part of everyday speech, used to add emphasis, emotion, and humor.
Teachers timed the initiative to coincide with Catholic Schools Week and Valentine’s Day. They have promised lollipops as an incentive to keep to the code.
The majority of the female students see the vow as a positive experiment, though a difficult promise to keep, as one unidentified student blurted out a vulgarism within minutes of pledging.
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