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Schools are using plays with very offensive and explicit language.

(125 Posts)
Sherrie2 Fri 07-Feb-14 13:59:59

Parents may not be aware that whereas TV and films seek to protect children from inappropriate material using the watershed and film classifications, plays are not subject to any censorship and schools are using material for GCSE which would be viewed as for adults only. This is an issue for drama and English Literature. My daughter's play 'Mogadishu' contained about 400 expletives, including over 200 uses of the 'f' word and over 10 uses of the 'c' word, as well as sexually explicit language. She was 14 at the time and was made to feel very uncomfortable as she had to read the script out for drama. This particular play is being used all over the country in schools and pupils are being taken to see it, even though it is described as a 'gritty' adult drama and as 'ripely filthy'.

There are currently no limits on the use of this type of material. I have set up a government e-petition to ask for some regulations to be put in place in the use of school texts in order to bring some consistency with TV and Film ratings and to ensure that schools are more accountable for what they do.

Please sign it, as once it reaches 100,000 the government will debate it in the House of Commons. Thank you.

Here is the link to the petition. Hope you feel able to sign it.

TalkinPeace Fri 07-Feb-14 16:03:41

Which Exam board is using that Play?

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Fri 07-Feb-14 16:05:39

What did her school say when you raised it with them?

SolomanDaisy Fri 07-Feb-14 16:07:49

What, plays like umm, the taming of the shrew? Deeply offensive language in there. I for one am discusted.

TalkinPeace Fri 07-Feb-14 16:08:09

Looking at the Internet coverage, this is only Teddington School and its not a set text but an optional one.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 07-Feb-14 16:12:09

Which schools? Which examination board? Is it a set text?

Reincarnatedpig Fri 07-Feb-14 16:14:12

I saw it at the Lyric a few years ago and thought it was an interesting play for older teens. I think they had an age restriction of 14 - my children at the time were too young to see it.

If you or your daughter have a problem with swearing, tell the teacher, I am sure they will be understanding.

I think your reaction comes across as a bit hysterical sadly and under no circumstances would I support a petition to censor what sort of material should be used in schools. Your attitude is ridiculous. Teachers are professionals and I trust their judgement.

Reincarnatedpig Fri 07-Feb-14 16:16:22

I forgot to say that Shakespeare and Chaucer have some pretty ripe and filthy material too, would you seek to ban them?

Hullygully Fri 07-Feb-14 16:20:06

I agree!

I hate bad language, it is the last resort of the inarticulate.


zeeboo Fri 07-Feb-14 16:26:01

This is all I can muster in response to your op hmm
Thank God 99.9% of crap petitions on t'internet never go anywhere.

longingforsomesleep Fri 07-Feb-14 19:13:17

Oh for god's sake. OP - you need to teach your dd not to be frightened of words. They can't hurt her or you. If you feel that strongly about it you ought to take it up with the school. But PLEASE do not try to curtail my children's access to literature.

adoptmama Fri 07-Feb-14 19:19:52

"Where they have burned books, they will end up burning human beings."

LaurieFairyCake Fri 07-Feb-14 19:22:18

It'll be a cold day in hell before I start a protest over a cunting play.

How about you direct your twisted gusset to something actually explicitly harmful like the proliferation of pornography?

ouryve Fri 07-Feb-14 19:24:37

Gosh, the pearl clutchers are out in force, this evening.

claraschu Fri 07-Feb-14 19:28:37

Are you suggesting that your GCSE aged daughter has never heard the fuck-word?

Blu Fri 07-Feb-14 19:30:44

Sherrie - if your dd was doing scenes from King Lear, would she feel uncomfortable theatricalising putting someone's eyes out?

Language in a play is fictional. The language of a fictional character.

But it does often reflect how real people talk in the real world. Your dd cannot have been sheltered from bad language, surely? Most teens swear a lot out of earshot of parents.

Talk to the school if you are unhappy.

Mogadishu is an excellent play.

bopoityboo3 Fri 07-Feb-14 19:31:05

there may not be set restrictions but I'm sure that isn't an exam board text for GCSE. If your daughters drama teacher is using a text you don't approve of raise it with the teacher. There are guide lines for drama teachers over what is appropriate to use with what age group and exam boards keep a strict eye on what pupils are being asked to perform for their practical pieces . I go with the rule of thumb that with GCSE pupils if I wouldn't hear it on the tv before the water shed then they can't perform it. With 6th form it's more to do with the pupils and what they want to perform (within reason).

junowiththegladrags Fri 07-Feb-14 19:36:24

What is the problem? What dramatically terrible thing is happening as a direct result of children reading the play? Believe me cunt and fuck are not words that any child is coming across for the first time at 14, so am struggling to see the dire consequences your op suggests.

I'm sorry your dd was made to feel uncomfortable but I can't get worked up about this I'm afraid.

JabberJabberJay Fri 07-Feb-14 19:37:04


No. I will not support your ridiculous petition. Fuck and even cunt are common words in the English language. They will not corrupt your daughter.

Stop being so hysterical.

Sherrie2 Fri 07-Feb-14 19:40:03

the school apologised for not consulting parents, but apart from that have no problem with doing the play as there is no censorship. They said they would ask parents what they think.

MelanieRavenswood Fri 07-Feb-14 19:41:04

I would have no problem with 14 year olds seeing or studying the play, but seeing as there are many grown women who have a problem with saying "cunt" ( I am not one of them, fwiw), then I do feel sorry for teenagers reading it out to their peers. Just needs to be handled sensitively by teachers, that's all.

SomewhatSilly Fri 07-Feb-14 19:42:33

Won't somebody think of the children?

Sherrie2 Fri 07-Feb-14 19:43:19

According to the Head Teacher of my daughter's school, there are schools doing the play all over the country. There is no set syllabus. Schools can choose what plays to do but they admit there is a wealth of plays they could use which isn't so offensive.

Morgause Fri 07-Feb-14 19:43:27

I doubt they'll hear any words that are new to them.

Bloodyteenagers Fri 07-Feb-14 19:44:10

Well these young actors don't seem to concerned about it.

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