Fury Greets School's Ban on Clapping

Rule put in place for a teacher with a hearing disability
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2016 9:21 AM CDT
Fury Greets School's Ban on Clapping
No clapping allowed, at least at assemblies.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Feel free to "punch the air, pull excited faces, and wriggle about on the spot" at Australia's Elanora Heights Public School—but whatever you do, don't clap. The public primary school in Sydney has gained some unwanted attention after it banned clapping at assemblies in favor of "silent cheering" for the benefit of "members of our school community who are sensitive to noise," according to a newsletter released Monday, per News.com.au. "When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed," it reads, noting it's also "a great way to … reduce fidgeting."

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The school has since become the target of much Internet wrath: "Australia, a country with many great attributes, seems to be slipping into some sort of South Park-ian police state," writes Lauren Larson at GQ. The clapping ban "is one more sure sign that the world is going mad," adds Susie O'Brien at the Herald Sun. In response to criticism that arose after the story was initially reported, a school district official tells the Educator that the rule was implemented to "minimize discomfort to a teacher with a hearing disability that causes acute sensitivity to loud noise." The official adds that the ban applies only to assemblies, which are held once every few weeks. (Read more Australia stories.)

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