A charity group is encouraging the use of gender-neutral language in schools – in a move that has sparked debate among teachers and students.
The Educate and Celebrate Charity is urging pupils and staff to use alternatives such as ‘Teacher’ rather than gendered terms such as ‘Mr’, ‘Sir’, ‘Miss’, or ‘Mrs’.
Dr Elly Barnes, chief executive of the charity, has suggested that words such as ‘boys’, ‘girls’, ‘son’, ‘mother’ or ‘father’ could be replaced with words such as ‘pupils’, ‘parents’, ‘students’, or ‘child’, MyLondon reports.
According to The Telegraph, the 90-minute lecture saw Dr Barnes outline how schools should be moving towards a ‘gender free model’, saying that the strategy had already worked well in schools where it had been implemented.
She also showed attendees at the meeting a ‘code of conduct’, which she encouraged schools to display at their reception.
It is reported this code said that people should not be allowed on the premises if they did not agree with the outlet reports. The poster listed bullet points of all the characteristics protected under the Equalities Act, apart from sex.
Dr Barnes suggested that the options of ‘male’ and ‘female’ should be removed from school application forms, with a box for gender simply ‘left open’ instead.
One attendee reportedly argued that teachers ‘do not take offence’ from words such as ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’, saying they are only used to ‘get your attention’. One teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, also told the Telegraph after the session: “It was propaganda for trans activists and completely against the DfE guidelines, but they were presenting it as fact. Teachers will take what this woman says as fact because the training was organised by the NEU and they’re not going to question their union.”
The female teacher said she was especially upset at the way Educate and Celebrate ‘disrespected’ women and girls in their advice. She added: “They’re trying to erase us by taking away our language, saying we should avoid words like mother, and we’re paying for it essentially.”
Source & Credit: stokesentinel.co.uk