It is especially important in an inclusive society, and in our inclusive schools, that we do not let the r-word exist. And while we are at it, let's address the other inappropriate words too!
I had an administrator, fairly early in my career, tell me that a behavior ignored is a behavior reinforced. He shared that we needn't always 'fix' the situation, but if we wanted the behavior to stop eventually we at least had to note it as inappropriate and that it needed to stop.
It is is a great strategy.
Inappropriate language is one of those things we need to address in our classrooms and hallways, and the phrase "we just don't use that word here" is a powerful way to address poor choice of words. Using that phrase in passing lets others know they were heard and their language was inappropriate. Using it when you have more time to work with students can lead to great discussions about why it was used, why it is inappropriate, alternative ways to communicate emotions, etc..
Taking the time to have those conversations with students can be more powerful than we imagine at times!
I don't know how many times I've used it, but what I found tonight when Reading Chris Smeaton's Superintendent's Blog is that strategy is almost EXACTLY the message shaered in the Spread the Word to End the Word video.
I WISH I would have had this video to quickly show a student on my phone in a hallway or classroom when I was explaining why words were inappropriate!
Give it a watch. It is very short. Powerful too. The impact:duration ratio is high for this one.
What do you think colleagues?
How hard would it be for EVERY one of us to address the inappropriate language we hear used in our schools? How powerful could that phrase be if 700+ GPPSD staff use it every time it is needed?
Something to think about perhaps. A behavior ignored is a behavior reinforced.