Girls at Catholic high school — but not boys — take no-cussing vow

Eric Owens | Editor

Girls at Queen of Peace High School, a coeducational Catholic high school in a northern New Jersey suburb, have taken a “no-cursing” vow at school officials’ request, but it doesn’t apply to male students.

“We want ladies to act like ladies,” said Lori Flynn, according to The Record, a newspaper in Bergen County, New Jersey. Flynn, a teacher at Queen of Peace, coordinated the no-swearing crusade.

The school’s principal, Brother Larry Lavallee, voiced his support for the double standard, noting his belief that girls use profane language more frequently than boys.

Girls at the school are aware they were being treated differently, but many support the initiative.

Cursing is “part of everyone’s vocabulary but it doesn’t make you look educated,” Kathleen McLaren, 17, told The Record.

The pledge is a “good idea,” agreed Kaitlin McEnery, 16. “But putting it into action is the problem.”

Boys at Queen of Peace also approved of the no-cussing-for-girls pledge.

“It’s unattractive when girls have potty mouths,” declared Nicholas Recarte.

Recarte, a 16-year-old pitcher on the school’s baseball team, added that he routinely hollers obscenities from the mound when he makes mistakes — a habit he expected would remain unchanged.

Teachers told the newspaper that they hoped boys at the school would improve their filthy language — even perhaps on the baseball diamond — if they saw girls fulfill their no-cussing vows.

School officials scheduled the pledge to complement Catholic Schools Week — January 27 to February 2 — and the traditional romance associated with Valentine’s Day. There are pins with a red slash over a set of pink lips. Students who can avoid dropping f-bombs and other vulgarities for an extended period of time will receive lollipops.

Dressed in standard-issue blue shirts and khaki pants, the girls of Queen of Peace stood, raised their right hands and solemnly swore the no-cursing oath last week.

“I do solemnly swear not to use profanities of any kind within the walls and properties of Queen of Peace High School,” they said in unison. “In other words, I swear not to swear. So help me God.”

Flynn, the coordinator, then admonished the boys not to cuss, but only “in the presence of ladies.”

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