“Dear Class,” Friend, Sept. 2012, 44
You might have heard that I said something inappropriate to someone in class on Monday. What I said was wrong, and I’m sorry I said it. I’m also sorry that you all had to hear it. And I’m sorry that I disappointed my teacher, friends, and classmates.
This year, I have heard a lot of people talking like I did on Monday. I knew it was wrong, but I thought if I talked that way I would feel more mature. I thought it would make me fit in and be more popular. But instead it made me look immature, like I have a bad attitude and a lack of character.
What I said was using profanity. No, I didn’t swear, but the dictionary says profanity includes language that is disrespectful and irreverent. Those who don’t have the language skills to make their point use inappropriate words to try to look tough or smart. It doesn’t make you smart. In fact, it makes you sound pretty ridiculous.
George Washington said that profanity “is a vice so mean and low, … that every man of sense, and character, detests and despises it.” I would like to think that we are all people of character, that we know what is right and wrong, and that we want to be people our school can be proud of.
The profanity in our classroom is hurting people. It brings our whole school down and makes us look stupid. We aren’t stupid. We have the potential to be whatever we want to be. I don’t want our language to hold us back.
I pledge to my class, my teacher, and my school that I will not use profanity at any time. I will use language that shows respect and builds up everyone around me and that I can be proud of. I hope that you will join me in this pledge, so we can all speak in a way that shows who we really are.