Teachers blame comedy shows

Quizzes encourage ‘grossly offensive’ insults

Comedy quizzes such as Never Mind the Buzzcocks and They Think It's All Over have been blamed for spreading cruel behaviour and ‘grossly offensive’ language in schoolchildren.

The leader of the National Union of Teachers says the programmes encourage a casual use of cruel insults in the playground – including sexism and homophobia.

Steve Sinnott, told the teaching union’s annual conference in Manchester that teachers and classmates alike bore the brunt of the verbal bullying.

Mr Sinnott, who is general secretary of the teaching union, said: ‘We've drawn attention to the appalling language of some young people. This language is too often grossly offensive and sexist.

‘Too often such cruel behaviour can be seen on television programmes like Never Mind The Buzzcocks. When I watch that programme I am quite shocked at the personal nature of some of the attacks by celebrities on other celebrities.

‘We are promoting a type of speaking to each other that diminishes other people. I think it's being picked up by other youngsters who are developing it and are, I think, exceeding norms of decency.

‘These types of comments have been made on programmes like They Think It's All Over, where they have questioned the sexuality of sports people.

‘Programme makers and celebrities need to reflect on what's taking place.’

Published: 26 Mar 2008

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