Get the Red Out: Australian Government Moves Against Use of Red Pens by Teachers

images3Teachers are being asked to avoid using red pens to mark homework as “too aggressive” and potentially harmful to students social and emotional wellbeing.

The recommendation is contained in the government’s “Good Mental Health Rocks” kit — telling teachers “don’t mark in red pen (which can be seen as aggressive) – use a different color.”

There is no recommendation for the “student-friendly” color to write such things as “you are a functional illiterate.” I have looked at the available crayon colors for possible choices. It seems to me that “bittersweet” would not meet the government standards. I did find colors names “Happy Ever After,” “Super Happy,” “Tickle Me Pink,” and “Awesome.” I expect writing “Johnny, this is the worst work that I have reviewed in three decades of teaching, including the fact that you misspelled your own name” would be a lot better when written in “Tickle Me Pink.”

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3 thoughts on “Get the Red Out: Australian Government Moves Against Use of Red Pens by Teachers”

  1. Aussies shying away from aggressiveness.

    For Christ’s sake, these people live in a veritable ‘aggressive’ petting zoo with all sorts of poisonous animals lurking the house waiting to bite.

    And they’re afraid of red ink?

  2. Oh the inanity, er, insanity, um, humanity!

    I ask them this.

    What if your child is color blind?


    It’s called LOGIC and SCIENCE. I expect better from you, Australia. Grades, fair or not, truthful or not, are part of life. Deal with it. I thought you were a nation of tough guys and gals.


  3. I now know why I am so mixed up. It was the red pencil or red pen that the good nuns used back in grade school. If they had only used a less agressive color, I could have been President!

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