A number of expressions considered sexist have been banned at a Birmingham elementary school.
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Birmingham | In this article you will learn:
- why “good morning boys and girls” is sexist
- which terms are still forbidden in an English school
- why the principal of the elementary school is committed to training without gender stereotypes
“Boys don’t cry”: This phrase creates pressure on the boys addressed, says Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, principal of Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham. Therefore the expression is forbidden at your school. Just like “Man up” or “Grow a pair”. If children feel that they are not allowed to show weakness, that makes them prone to bullying, said Hewitt-Clarkson on “Good Morning Britain”. “Whom should the boy trust his feelings to, if they have been discussed beforehand by someone they trust?”
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The teacher was on the talk show to defend her model. Previously, there had been loud criticism of the language regulations on social networks. In particular, the ban on the greeting “Good morning boys and girls” caused a lack of understanding. Hewitt-Clarkson is against explicitly welcoming only boys and girls, because this way students who do not feel they belong to either of these genders would not feel addressed. Instead, the teachers now greet their students with “Good morning everyone”.
“This is about adults who become obsessive about gender issues and transfer this problem to their children,” teacher Chris McGovern told the “Daily Mail”. He is one of the school’s many critics. Regulating the language of children at such a young age would restrict and burden them.
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But there is also a lot of support for Hewitt-Clarkson and her idea of a school free from sexism. According to a Twitter user, children are never racist or sexist from birth. It is their environment that makes them so, and school plays a major role in shaping the way children interact with one another.
This text is part of our new #neo section, which is aimed specifically at young readers. You can find more information and all texts here.