I have had the same rule in my classroom for the last few years, "If you tell someone to 'shut up' you will have silent lunch or a note home."
I don't know if it is just the area that I live in but my kids tell each other to shut up about 132 times a day! Even to people they are friends with!
This year I have had to expand my rule to, "If you say something rude to someone else..."
I have had to expand this because I have one class of students that are so unbelievably rude to one another! I swear the only 3 phrases out of their mouths to one another are:
Get out my face!
What are you looking at?
They are friends with one another but they act like they hate each other. When I talk to them about how they speak to each other they always say they don't mean it and I shouldn't take it so seriously, but I do. Not only do they say these things to one another CONSTANTLY, but they say them so hatefully and with such conviction it is impossible not to take it seriously.
I tell them that I joke around with my friends too, but in the appropriate setting. Also, I am kind to my friends at SOME points. The way they treat one another at all times is unacceptable behavior.
I also think that some of them are becoming so used to talking rudely to one another it is spilling over into all aspects of their personalities.
In previous years it took my students about 3 weeks to be kind to one another, and it was on the RAREST of occasions that someone blurted out, "Shut up!"
However, it seems like in this group it is so ingrained in them now that they say awful things at all times without even realizing it. They don't seem to have any self control or self awareness.
I'm sort of at a loss as to what I should/could do to rectify this situation....
Anyone out there have any creative ideas?