Pretty fly at Mountain Sky

Principal Linda Marlar of Mountain Sky Junior High School in Phoenix thinks her teachers' language skills could use some beefing up. But at the training session she's planned for them this coming August, the staff will learn less about subject-verb agreement than about when it is appropriate--and when it is decidedly not appropriate--to use words such as "dawg," and phrases such as "don't clown me, playa, or I'll bust you in the grill." Slang lessons, Marlar thinks, will give her teachers another way to communicate with, and comprehend, their students. The Arizona Republic reports, for example, that "Marlar cautions teachers not to overreact if kids use the word ‘pimp' as a verb, as in ‘pimp my backpack,' because they're not referring to prostitution but accessorizing." Gadfly is unimpressed. This has been done before. Like most things hip, the practice of integrating slang into the classroom started in L.A., and Marlar is merely months late in copying ("jocking the style") of chic, West Coast school leaders. Even the bookworms who enroll in SAT prep courses have already heard of this! Sorry, Linda, but the fad has passed. And you're not thirteen anymore.

"Students' ‘tight' terms ‘aiight' with principal," by Karina Bland, Arizona Republic, July 23, 2006