This school wants to scrap gender specific pronouns for students
The school’s new guidelines for teachers are proving controversial, advising teachers not to use ‘boys’ or ‘girls’.
A new presentation ‘Transgender 101’ shown to principals and school staff hopes to make schools more sympathetic to transgender students.
Some of the advice given includes allowing transgender students to go on trips conforming with the gender they identify with.
For example, trans girls would be allowed to attend an all-girl hike.
Other guidelines advise teachers to use nouns like “students” or “scholars” rather than “boys and girls”, and to be cautious about not outing students to classmates or fellow teachers.
Teachers are also being taught about offensive language, and to avoid words like “tranny” and “transgendered”.
Within the presentation a “Gender Unicorn” is used to illustrate concepts like gender, genderqueer, gender nonconforming and other variations within sexuality and gender.
The concept was developed by Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER), whose purpose is to create a “trans-friendly education system”, back in 2014.
Unsurprisingly, the information was misrepresented by conservative outlets. A writer for Fox News implied the new program would put girls at risk of young boys, whose hormones would be at “peak levels” while in school.
While a guideline suggests teachers consider carefully any situation where students express concerns on gender or sexuality before going to their parents, the same journalist said it was the same as asking parents “be left out of their child’s gender decision-making.”
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Another blogger called it “the stuff of nightmares” and described the TSER as “sick perverts”.
The TSER responded: “The goal of the graphic is to help create a healthy educational environment for young trans people through facilitating understanding and suggesting small shifts from gendered rhetoric towards gender neutral terminology.
“We want to publicly thank Superintendent Ann Clark and all staff involved in setting up this training for faculty of the CMS school district for supporting the transgender students in their district and navigating the thousands of complaints they are getting from transphobic individuals in their community in an attempt to create a more knowledgeable and compassionate staff for students.”
The new guidelines contrast other public issues still affecting trans people in North Carolina.
The bill diminishes job protections for LGBT people and bans transgender people from using bathrooms according to their gender, but rather what’s on their birth certificate.