The Origin of the “Swear Jar”


Photo by William Amaya

Ms. Deinhard’s swear jar–if you swear or break the food rules, you pay.

William Amaya, Staff Writer

During her second year of teaching, Law Teacher Ms. Deinhard incorporated a “swear jar” into her classroom. After seeing her master teacher using a jar for foul language and food, the idea resonated with her. She liked how the jar taught students to control their language and filter out inappropriate language. This is why she incorporated it: to teach her students to adapt to their environment and make the correct adjustments.

That’s not all the jar does. If you eat in her class, you’ll be charged a quarter for that as well. The fine for food is the real money maker nowadays due to a reconfiguration of the system. Starting this year, swearing isn’t all that gets charged. What matters more is the context of the profanity. When it is used in a degrading way they can expect to be fine. In its infancy, any sort of profanity, no matter the context, would be tolled.

While the function has changed, the aesthetic hasn’t. Ms. Deinhard has stated that a competition to decorate the jar could be possible since, in its current state, it’s very bland.

Upon first hearing, the reaction is always overall negative but with the changes, it’s lessened since it’s mostly there to let students eat food in her class for a toll of twenty-five cents. The benefits work both ways, the payment also allows Ms. Deinhard to track who eats, so in a scenario where she finds trash she knows the culprit.

While things are fine now it wasn’t always that way. The money it now contains would be greater if it hadn’t been burglarized. Leaving no bills in sight of the jar, the rough estimate is a loss of $20.The theft hadn’t stopped Ms. Deinhard from still having the swear jar, but it did for the upperclassmen Law teacher, Ms. Blades. Last school year Ms. Blades had a swear jar that followed the model of Ms. Deinhard, but after discovering it had been stripped of all the funds, $6, she shut it down but is still open to the idea of reimplementing it in a future school year.