A mum was left angry after her eight-year-old son was punished for saying the phrase 'flipping heck' after missing a shot on goal during a PE lesson.
The mum took to the popular forum Mumsnet to ask fellow parents whether her son should be punished for what she believes is a ‘nonsense exclamation.’
The punishment handed to her son, who she says is incredibly she and well-behaved, was to be put straight on the red list of the school’s traffic light policy. If you get red twice, you go straight to the headmaster.
On Mumsnet's Am I Being Unreasonable thread, she wrote: “He looked mortified when he came out and the teacher told me he'd had to go straight onto red for bad language during PE. Ds tried to say 'I only said' but teacher interrupted and said 'please don't say it again, you'll only get yourself into more trouble'.
"Anyway, he apologised, we walked home and that was that.”
"I asked him what he'd said and why when we got home and he told me he missed a goal in PE and said "oh, flipping heck".
"I asked him if he was sure that was what he'd said, that he hadn't said the F word, but he was adamant he hadn't and was in tears of frustration at this point as he kept trying to tell the teacher what he'd said but she just kept telling him not to repeat it.”
The mum later messaged the teacher over the school app to explain that all her son said was ‘flipping heck’ and nothing worse than that.
The teacher responded confirming that was the words she heard him use and said it was more the tone he said it in. The mother told the forum that the teacher had not said anything about the tone when they initial spoke.
She then asked: "Is 'Flipping heck' rude? I say it all the time and I'm certain that is where he's picked it up from but I've never told him not to say it. I thought it was just a nonsense exclamation."
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The forum seemed split over the incident with lots of parents saying the teacher overreacted but others also said they would not want their child using the phrase at that age.
One parent said: "Poor lad. If its the first time he said it a quick 'We don't say that in school, Joe' should have been enough. Putting him on red when he's usually very well behaved for something he genuinely didn't think was wrong could really rock his confidence. I hope he's OK."
A second parent wrote: "We say "flippin eck" in Sheffield a lot, so that teacher would have us all on 'red'."
However, those who disagreed that the language said: "That would definitely count as swearing at dc school, tbh I wouldn't want my dc saying that. Might be a regional thing tho."
A second wrote: "I mean, it’s not bad language in itself, but it is absolutely a stand-in for 'f**king hell' and is used as such, so that’s probably what she's getting at.”
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