Just to reassure the forum - at my son's senior school the word 'retard' is just one of the cool words of the moment - nothing more than that. Its used whenever anyone does anything stupid (in their opinion!). My DS1 uses it all the time... just teenagers being teenagers!
OFF TOPIC: new thread?
I have to report that this is happening in my older son's school as we11, Gi11yGi11yOxenPepper!!
I must say that when I first heard it, my instant reaction was that of shock that youngsters woud even think of using that word to ca11 each other, even their friends.
I did what katel did with regards to the explanation and how unacceptable/derogratory it is to use the word. It was always brushed off with 'that is not what is meant when people use it - a slight to the disabled or impaired but merely a slang word for an 'idiotic' action or manner.
It is not a11owed in the house/car and the kiddos know I disapprove of it and yet I do catch it now and then. They can't see what the fu55 is about , despite me asking them to use another word... but was informed that that is not the same.
I had the same with the word 'gay' in junior school and senior school. The teachers have also punished any boy they have overheard using the term. A11 the boys say that that is not what they mean when they fling the word around. I found that very hard to swa11ow but apparently this article shows what is going on:
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 671972.ece
It is very difficult of course to know then, if you hear these terms whether it is used in the modern/ teen vernacular or is actua11y a derogatory term directed and meant to hurt, as in the case of verbal bu11ying.
That is why I te11 my kiddos not to use them as it can be taken one way or the other.