While favoring “silent cheering,” a Sydney school has put a ban on clapping to prevent disturbing students who are “sensitive to noise”.
Elanora Heights Public School stated that cheering silently or “pulling excited faces and “punching the air” help in reduction of “fidgeting”. In its latest newsletter published on July 18, the school announced the new scheme of “silent cheering” rather than clapping to praise someone’s achievements.
The announcement came the same day as an all-girls school banned teachers from referring to students with gender-biased terms, such as “girls,” “ladies,” “women,” etc. They advocated the use of “gender-neutral” terms. This way, they support students belonging to the LGBT community. In addition to these, some schools have banned hugging and Australia Day while few of the schools have put a ban on singing Christmas carols and using the word “black” in the nursery rhyme “Baa Baa Black Sheep.”
St. Patricks Primary School principal John Grant said that children at the school used to “walk up and hug each other.” He said that the authorities were attempting to make students respect each other’s personal space. Not everyone likes to be hugged according to Grant, News.com.au reported.
Under the “Did you know” segment of the newsletter, Elanora Heights Public School mentioned the adoption of the silent cheer principle “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 expand children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.”