Clapping has been banned at a Sydney primary school which has introduced “silent cheering”, “pulling excited faces” and “punching the air” to respect students who are “sensitive to noise”.
Elanora Heights Public School, which is on Sydney’s northern beaches, announced its new “silent cheer” policy in its latest school newsletter.
The latest example of a political correctness outbreak in Australian schools, which have banned hugging, singing Christmas carols, celebrating Australia Day and singing the word “black” in the nursery rhyme “baa baa black sheep”.
The ban on clapping at Elanora Heights Primary School emerged on the same day that an exclusive girls school banned teachers from calling “ladies” or “women” in favour of “gender-neutral” terms.
The measure followed the introduction of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program and teachers were told at a meeting if they did not comply they could be deemed to be homophobic and breaking the law.
The school also has a “Queer-Straight alliance” club and holds gender equality events such as Wear it Purple Day.
Elanora Heights Public School’s ban on clapping in favour of silent cheering comes after several schools have banned hugging.
In April, hugging was banned at a Geelong primary school and children were told to find other ways to show affection.
St Patricks Primary School principal John Grant said “nothing in particular” had caused hugging to be replaced by high fiving or “a knuckle handshake”.
“But in this current day and age we are really conscious about protecting kids and teaching them from a young age that you have to be cautious,” Mr Grant said.
He said he had spoken to teachers about his decision to ban hugging and the teachers had spoken to classes, instructing the children on different methods of showing affection. He had not sent any correspondence home to parents but said there would now be a letter going home shortly.
“We have a lot of kids who walk up and hug each other and we’re trying to encourage all of us to respect personal space,” Mr Grant said. “It really comes back to not everyone is comfortable in being hugged.”
From an article at NEWS.COM.AU