NORTH ARLINGTON, N.J. – Female students at a Catholic high school in northern New Jersey have taken a "no-cursing" pledge at the request of school administrators, though some question why no such demand was made of male students.
Lori Flynn, a teacher who organized the campaign at Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington, told The Record of Woodland Park there is no double-standard. She says that while males weren't asked to take the vow, they have been asked not to swear when girls are near.
Flynn says school officials want "ladies to act like ladies." And Brother Larry Lavallee, the school's principal, says girls have the foulest language.
Many girls said they would try to follow the pledge they took Friday morning, even though they believe it should apply to all students.
Sixteen-year-old Kaitlin McEnery said the pledge is a "good idea," but believes that "putting it into action is the problem." And classmate Dana Cotter, 16, thought that male students should join the pledge because "boys should be more like gentlemen."
Teachers said they hoped that if the girls focused on cleaning up their speech on campus for a month, their improved manners would take hold and rub off on the boys. They timed the initiative to Catholic Schools Week and the old-fashioned romance of Valentine's Day, promising lollipops as rewards and handing out pins showing a red slash through a pair of pink lips.
"It's unattractive when girls have potty mouths," said Nicholas Recarte, 16. A pitcher on the school's baseball team, Recarte said he can't help shouting obscenities from the mound after mishaps, and he didn't expect that to change.