At a Chicago school, students in the gifted program, known as “giftees,” got in trouble for wearing T-shirts with their nickname on it. Their parents filed suit. In response to my post, the head of the school council writes:
The term “giftees” was ascribed to the students in the Options Program (commonly referred to as the Gifted Program) by the students in the regular program at the school. In return, the students in the Options Program gave their regular program fellow students the nickname or “retards” or just “tards.” Our school also has a Trainable Mentally Handicapped Program so you can understand the additional sensitivity of that term.
The school’s administration made it clear that neither term is acceptable for any students to use. So the Options students created a shirt that tried to skirt this by having the term appear as “g*****s” on the shirt in question. Again, unacceptable and quite possibly inflammatory. Disguising the letters does not change the meaning.
To avoid confrontation in the hallways of the school between these students, the Options class was kept in their homeroom on the day they wore the t-shirt and their teachers came to them. Further discipline would have been allowed in accordance with the Uniform Discipline Code of the Chicago Public Schools, but that was not done.
It has always been and will continue to be the goal of this school to foster a spirit of community between all of its students and their families. This current lawsuit is an unfortunate attempt to create a division in that community. We are not all born with the same gifts but we should be taught to understand how to properly utilize those gifts and respect the talents of those throughout the community. That is our goal at Beaubien and we will continue on that path.
Chairman, Beaubien Local School Council
I can understand banning the term “tard,” which is an insult. Banning “giftee” or “g*****” I don’t get. If the nicknamed don’t mind, why should the nicknamers be inflamed?