9/5/18

My Son Heard The Two Worst Words In The English Language. Then Repeated Them.









Friday night, while tucking my six-year-old son in bed, he asked to spell words.  It’s his newest thing. He loves to spell EVERYTHING. Sometimes he spells whole sentences to communicate with me. (Thankfully, it's still way more adorable than annoying.) We went through everything I could see in his room; curtain, carpet, dresser, door, closet - I am proud to say, he got all of them right. He also got 1 million kisses and cuddles, which he ate right up.


Saturday morning, he runs downstairs and asks for new words to spell. We start in the kitchen, spelling everything I can see while making his breakfast. I get the bright idea to show him YouTube videos if Children in Spelling Bees, while he eats.


In the Living room. On our 65" SmartTV.


And this is where it all goes to shit...


I pull up the YouTube app on our TV, and search for "National Spelling Bee."


We go through a couple of the Scripps National Spelling Bee videos, but the words were ridiculously hard. Scary.


This was the word given to the runner-up in last year's spelling bee:

Bewusstseinslage-a state of consciousness or a feeling devoid of sensory components. 

I look for other videos. Something, on a much smaller scale. Something, like a spelling bee in a school. 

I see what looks to be a spelling bee at a highschool. So I click on it. 


This video was sitting right next to all of the other Scripps Spelling Bee videos. I did not change my search or do anything.

The video started with a high school age girl spelling:


Logorrhea: a communication disorder resulting in incoherent talkativeness

She spells it correctly.


Sounds legit. 

The moderator tells the three kids, they've made it to round five and calls up the next kid, then leans into the microphone and says, "Your next word is Ni***rfag**t."

I yelped then covered my mouth. I was shocked, mortified, in total disbelief. I stopped the video just before my son turns to me and says, mommy what’s Ni***rfag**t?





I thought I was gonna throw up right there. My child just said the two worst words in the English language.


It was awful, awful, awful. 

I spent two days mortified. 


I tried to find a silver lining. He said those words to me, which gave me the opportunity to cut off that language immediately. I told him how horrible, disgusting and filthy those words are, and that they broke my heart into a million pieces when I hear them. I loosely told him what they meant, and they were "Horrible nonsense words used by the worst kind of bully." I made him promise to never, ever, ever say either, then seal our promise with a kiss. 


So now, that leaves me with this YouTube situation. Which I've struggled with.


I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, I'm not the only parent who has had this happen. The bloody video comes up by searching for "National Spelling Bee." WTF? 


I reported it. I had to. It's labeled as National Spelling Bee! That's for kids! 

I shudder to think of the older children in upper-grades with free reign on Youtube, they would easily see it. This is bad. Really, bad. Uttering those words can, and will, destroy you. Imagine if your child went to school the next day and shared what they saw?


The social media monster is taking over, and the content is largely unmonitored. The safety walls in place by the developers are not working. Clearly. 


Please, take my experience as a reminder that this shit is out there, hiding in the most unimaginable places. It's imperative that we as parents be vigilant when it comes to social media to protect our children and their peers, ears.





April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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