Charlotte Allen, IWF, January 20, 2016
It used to be: “Heather has two mommies.”
Now, it’s: “Heather has two non-gendered and inclusive caregivers.”
That’s the language the New Democratic Party government in Alberta, Canada, is telling teachers and school administrators to use when adressing the adults with whom students are living. Out: “mother” and “father.” In: “parent,” “caregiver,” “partner,” whatever.
And God help you if refer to one of the little rascals as “him” or “her.”
School forms, websites, letters, and other communications use non-gendered and inclusive language (e.g., parents/guardians, caregivers, families, partners, “student” or “their” instead of Mr., Ms., Mrs., mother, father, him, her, etc.).”
The purpose of the guidelines, according to the text, is to create “learning communities” that “respect diverse sexual orientations, gender identies, and gender expressions.”
And that means that the kids, no matter how young or how old, get to pick their own gender and force everyone else in the school to abide by their choice:
Self-identification is the sole measure of an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression . . . .
Some individuals may not feel included in the use of the pronouns “he” or “she” and may prefer alternate pronouns, such as “ze,” “zir,” “hir,” “they” or “them,” or might wish to express themselves or self-identify in other ways (e.g., Mx. instead or Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss, or no prefix at all) . . . .
When creating student/staff lists, school staff ensure gender designations are not included either beside individual names or as a composite number for the group.
Trying to remember whether little “Mx.” Jones wants to be a “zir” or a “hir” sounds hard enough. But then the guidelines get to this:
If sports teams are divided by gender, students are given the opportunity to participate on the team that reflects their gender identity and expression . . . Students with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions have a right to accommodation when it comes to the use of washroom and change room facilities that are congruent with their gender identity. This applies during school time and school-related activities on and off school property.