Can Teachers Get Fired for Cursing In Front of Students?

Teachers spend a lot of time with kids and as a result have to be careful about how they behave and react in front of them, especially when angry or frustrated. It’s also important to keep in mind that some students are more sensitive or easily offended compared to the teacher or other students and that the age group of the students can play a big part in whether a teacher will be reprimanded or fired for cursing.

Teachers can get fired for cursing in front of their students if the language used could be considered verbal harassment. A teacher will not be automatically fired for cursing since it is possible for them to curse in front of students in a way that would not be considered verbal harassment.

So depending on the circumstances, cursing in front of students can result in losing your job but is not necessarily a surefire way to get fired. It is possible to curse in front of students in a lighthearted way that is not threatening or demeaning to anyone, so as long as a teacher is not engaging in verbal harassment, they likely will not get in trouble or risk losing their job.

Verbal Harassment

Since you can not only get fired but get in legal trouble for cursing if it is considered verbal harassment, it’s important to be aware of what verbal harassment entails.

Verbal harassment includes but is not limited to, the use of profanity, loud or boisterous remarks, inappropriate speech, inappropriate suggestive conduct, or body movements or comments that could be interpreted by the hearer as being derogatory in nature.

Verbal harassment is a language that is directed at another person that causes that person harm, typically in an emotional or psychological sense. Calling a person names, making him or her feel useless, or otherwise diminishing a person’s self-worth can all be forms of verbal harassment. This type of harassment is recognized as a serious offense, but unlike physical forms of harassment, it is very difficult to collect evidence that attests to the existence of verbal abuse. Recording the abuse or finding witnesses may be the only solution to the problem if a verbal harassment case must be pursued.

Is It Ever OK For a Teacher To Curse In Front of Students?

The answer to this will vary depending on who you ask. Some would say it is never appropriate and is completely unprofessional, while others might have a more nuanced view. A teacher might swear in front of students in a lighthearted and joking manner and this would not be considered offensive in every case. It is also possible for a teacher to swear out of anger or frustration and still not get fired. Growing up I had teachers swear both in humorous and lighthearted ways and out of anger but still not get fired. One teacher in high school indirectly called a student a “jackass” out of anger and did get talked to by administration but still was not fired. It depends on what words were used and how often.

School’s Personal Preference

Swearing in the classroom is not technically illegal, so a teacher would not automatically be fired. It is up to the school or school district to determine the teacher’s punishment and the severity of it. Every school has its own rules for both students and teachers. Do they hold the students and teacher to the same standard or curse? Some might say they should, but others might say teachers don’t have to be since they are adults.

Overall it depends on the morals and values of the school. This can differ on the location of the school, the grade levels it contains, and the personal values of the teacher. Even though it is wrong for a teacher to curse in front of students, the principal may not care, when another principal across the country may be very offended that it was tolerated

It is up to the principal of the school to develop policies in order to maintain a high-quality education at the school. Since there are multiple different contexts cursing could be a part of, it is up to the principal to meet with the teacher instead of immediately firing them. Students could be lying, it could have been in a book, or they could have been angry. There is a difference between cursing for educational purposes and cursing at a student because they upset you.

It also depends on the age of the students and the relationship that the teacher has with them. If the teacher teaches elementary or middle school, they probably shouldn’t cuss around the students, and they should know that. However, in high school, it might slide. A lot of the students curse themselves so it doesn’t bother them. However in college, since the students are adults, there aren’t a lot of rules revolving cursing in the classroom. It is usually up to the professor to decide what language they will use in the classroom.

If the teacher has a close relationship with the students their vocabulary may be more casual, and it is more common for the teacher to slip up every once in a while.

Effect on the Students and Parents

For a teacher to be fired for cursing, the principal has to first find out. The principal is usually only in the classroom at designated times, so the teacher won’t be caught cursing in front of the principal.

In order for the teacher to be caught, the cursing would have to bother the students. If it bothered the students enough they would either tell the principal, other teachers, or their parents.

It then depends on what the parent’s values are. If they hear from their child that there was cursing in the classroom, they may talk to the teacher about it and solve the issue privately, or they could be very angry and go straight to the principal.

Once again, it is then up to the principal, but the parent may keep tabs on the issue until something is done about it.

As long as the cursing isn’t used as verbal harassment, it is up to the principal to decide if the teacher is fired or not. If the teacher was verbally harassing students they would most likely be fired.