School bans clapping and allows students ‘silent cheers’ or air punching but only when teachers agree

Herald Sun:

School bans clapping and allows students ‘silent cheers’ or air punching but only when teachers agree

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”.
The school now only allows its pupils “to conduct a silent cheer” when prompted by teachers and says the practice “reduces fidgeting”.
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.

In its July 18 newsletter, the Elanora school has published an item under the headline “Did you know” that “our school has adopted silent cheers at assembly’s” (sic).
“If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the item reads.
“Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot.
“The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.
“When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed.
“Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.”

Next they will ban cheering, even silent cheering because students will cheer for some people or groups more than for others.

No pep rallies? No cheerleaders?

Nope. Just political correct nonsense. It is at times embarrassing to be a teacher. :o


Honestly I could have done without both in school (especially since we were an all guys high school and the “prep squad” was just… odd).

But no clapping at all seems really bizarre even for political correctness sake.

At first I thought this might be something reasonable. Our local Catholic High Schools have a policy at commencements that there be no applause or shouting until all the names are read. Six of my nieces have graduated and it is the same group of people who disregard the rules every year. Either some students names cannot be heard or the ceremony lasts longer than the rental for the facility. It is really unfair for the students whose families follow the rules.

This goes beyond common sense. The bottom half of the world has it’s own way of doing things.

My mom was one of those that never followed that “no clapping or cheering until the end” rule at graduations. It was really quite embarrassing let me tell you as my mom has a set of lungs on here that could be heard from San Diego to Boston.

This really isn’t international news. The school were I work used to be a district magnet school for autistic students. Twenty percent of our population were autistic and several of them were very sensitive to massive eruptions of noise. We had a silent cheer during assemblies and during gym so that these students could feel comfortable participating. Currently, we have a child who has Brittle Bone Disease and very loud noises can actually break the bones in her ears, as well as a deaf child who has a really hard time following an assembly with a lot of extra noise going on. I really don’t feel like this is a horrible thing.

Before we get all heated up, let us remind ourselves that this story is from Australia, not the U.S.

Altho it’s not out of the question that we might see the same silliness here soon.

I hate being politically correct.

But I hate cheering even more :wink:

If a school is a magnet for those with autism or other conditions which may include sensory processing disorder, then yes, I can see the school having this sort of policy in place.

There is nothing in the article that indicates this is the situation at this particular school.

At my school we have two self-contained autism centers, but the 15 children in these two centers do not make up even 3% of our student population. Still, we work hard to make sure to teach our students in gen ed to be welcoming, compassionate, and respectful. Our autistic students do attend school assemblies – some wear noise-reducing headphones, some wear weighted blankets or vests, and some do not need any additional assistance.

We believe this to be the “least-restrictive environment” for these kiddos, as the real world is not going to engage in silent clapping, air fists, and the like just in case someone in their vicinity is noise sensitive. :shrug: We are teaching them how to cope with real life. :thumbsup:

Our school is not the real world. Our school is a community where we work together and help encourage one another to learn. It doesn’t hurt anyone to celebrate with a “bulldog cheer” rather than screaming and clapping. I don’t know anyone who, if with a friend who was noise sensitive would insist upon their right to screech in their ear. Well, in our school, we’re all friends, and we don’t have a problem making small adjustment in consideration of others.

Words wouldn’t do justice in response.

Your school has a population of 20% of the students needing special accommodations. That’s huge! Ours has less than 3%. And nobody is allowed to screech in anyone’s ear at assemblies or anywhere else at school. :shrug:

Our school is also a community where we – staff, students, and families – work together and help and encourage one another. I just happen to agree with our sped teachers that it is a good thing to help these kids find ways to deal with a world that is not going to make even small adjustments in their consideration. :nope:

We do, however, make many adjustments throughout our building for the needs of our students, and we also do our best to help students identify their weaknesses/needs and find ways to overcome or cope with them. We always have and will continue to do so.

I have no problem with this. It is not political correctness. It is showing respect for people like my autistic brother.

For times like these…

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