Brainerd school begs parents to stop letting kids watch Jeffy the Rapper

Parents of second- and third-graders in Brainerd, Minn., what on earth are you thinking?

So many of them are letting their kids watch Jeffy the Rapper on YouTube, that the school district has had to send letters home asking them to stop.

The Brainerd Dispatch reports that mostly boys — big shock — are mimicking “obscene and disturbing behavior” in the video series.

Repeating: second and third grade.

“I’ve been a lady working in education for 20 years. I know that kids can be kids,” Jodi Kennedy, the principal of Garfield Elementary School, said. “But, this video is crossing a line in several areas … I don’t know if this is what these people are intending, but it looks kid-friendly and it’s not.”

“Unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of hip thrusting standing in the lunch line. We’ve had some of Jeffy’s words, which are words I would not like to repeat,” Kennedy said, noting the puppet harps about murdering a woman for “street cred” in at least one clip. “Jeffy doesn’t treat women very nicely, he’s got some really inappropriate terms for them.”

Along with derogatory gestures and comments to fellow students, Kennedy noted one boy shoved a pencil up his nose and at least one other may have soiled himself mimicking the string-operated Jeffy.

Kennedy said the school’s firewall and technology-use restrictions mean students are unable to view non-educational content in school limits. While students are able to meet, talk about and act out Jeffy’s sketches on school grounds, they’re viewing this content outside, often at home. She added without audio, the clips don’t appear inappropriate at first glance. If parents hear the audio, however, they’re immediately introduced to Jeffy’s vulgar antics—something that may slip through the cracks if the child is wearing headphones when they’re viewing the clips.

Kennedy said the phenomenon’s spread has been rampant at the school.

Symptoms apparent include Jeffy’s signature moves of fondling his crotch and humping a box of Cheerios.

  • >>Symptoms apparent include Jeffy’s signature moves of fondling his crotch and humping a box of Cheerios.<<

    So, what's the problem?

    j/k

  • Jeff

    Stay classy second and third graders.

  • Jerry

    The problem with juvenile humour is that it is very popular with juveniles

  • Mike Worcester

    Right now I’m sitting here trying to think back to being 7-8 and if we did anything similar. I’ll be hard pressed to say for sure if we did though I’m sure we did something that drove our teachers crazy. That being said, I hope every parent who finds this amusing will stop doing so. Maybe…maybe…we might have laughed it off in 1974 (that’s when I was eight), but it should not be now. At all.

    • RBHolb

      As I recall teachers in the mid-70s found their patience tried by the “Horshack laugh.” Some said that the occasional emulation of the Three Stooges was a relief from the laugh.

      Jeffy the Rapper (who was unknown to me before this post) seems to be showing behaviors that too many adults find amusing (“Hey, lighten up–it’s just a joke!”). These are often parents who don’t want their kids being “politically correct little wusses.”

  • MrE85

    We never had these problems with Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers.

    • Gary F

      I still don’t throw away shoe boxes or paper towel tubes.

    • Jerry

      But Howdy Doody was mentally scarring, right? And let’s not even talk about the shows of Sid and Marty Krofft.

    • Bob Sinclair

      What about the 3 Stooges? As a 3-5th grader I thought they were the world’s greatest role models…until I got caught wearing my pajamas under my regular school clothes. 🙁

      • Gary F

        You need to watch Dennis Miller’s Three Stooges bit.

        3-5 grades? Hell, they are still my role model.

        • RBHolb

          Never forget that Hollywood’s first anti-Hitler movie was “You Nazty Spy.” Charlie Chaplin gets all the critical acclaim for “The Great Dictator,” but the Stooges were first.

          Moe said that was his favorite of all the films they made.

      • MrE85

        You were a victim of circumstance. If I were you, I would call the legal team of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe!

  • Rob

    Regarding the crotch-grabbing, it sounds as if Jeffy’s been watching Michael Jackson videos…

    Let no one be shocked when Jeffy’s operators turn out to be headquartered at a Russian troll farm.

  • Gary F

    Makes Captain Underpants look like fine literature.

  • BReynolds33

    Parents? Keep an eye on what their kids are doing online? Good one.

    • joetron2030

      I was thinking the same.

      But, it always boggles my mind when I hear that there are kids in my kids’ middle school watching Rick and Morty. I always wonder whether the parents know what their kids are watching (as in have actually watched it themselves) or they don’t care what their kids are watching?

      • Jerry

        There are people who think that anything that is animated must be for children. This is despite the fact that South Park has been on the air for twenty years. The same probably goes for puppets.

        • RBHolb

          The cartoons we aging (aged, by now) baby boomers watched so avidly were all originally for adults. It strains credibility to think that parodies of Wagnerian operas were thought of as entertainment for children.

      • AL287

        Your comment reminds me of the public service announcement that ran in the 1970’s and 80’s—“Parents, do you know where your children are?”

        For the 21st century we should rephrase that to “Parents, do you know what your children are doing online?”

        It’s clear there are quite a number of parents in Brainerd who don’t know what their children are doing online.

        The bigger question is whether 2nd graders and 3rd graders SHOULD be online.

  • SPHINX

    The administration is making a mistake singling out one program. Original YouTube content — in general — is an open sewer.

    I’ve never seen these Jeffy videos, however. I’m curious if they’re that bad …

    [watches one minute of Jeffy the Rapper]

    This is SPHINX’s dog. He blacked out after watching this stupid video and I’ve been nudging him for 20 minutes. Please send help.

    • Jerry

      I’m trying to think of what could be so bad as to shock Shoreleave into unconsciousness

  • Barton

    So story time. When I was in 4th grade (just slightly older than these kids) a boy in my class was humping against my back side while we stood in line for some class. I asked him to stop, I asked the teacher to make him stop, and he wouldn’t stop. My parents had to come to school and I was lectured by the principal for punching him in the nose. He didn’t get in trouble at all.

    The story above reminds me of that. So the boys above are thrusting their hips while standing in line? If they do that to a girl who shouldn’t have to take it, who ultimately will get in trouble?

  • Jay Sieling

    I have to admit, I watched the embedded episode. In my Tech Ethics course today -primarily law enforcement students- I mentioned this story as part of a discussion on Censorship and Privacy. None of these college students had heard of “Jeffy the Rapper” – even though the sophomoric humor seems to be targeted at or just below their level. I was a little surprised to see the Shrek doll and the Mario figure. I’m wondering how long it will be before they’re issued a take down order for copyright infringement. (Granted there may be a ‘fair use’ case for this production, but I’d guess they may at least be asked to alter the character name)