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NY School Claims Words ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ Are Offensive, Pushes for Gender-Neutral Nouns

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The infamous “inclusive language” is beginning to transcend issues of gender and race and is now entering the family. A New York City school is urging its students to stop using terms like “dad” and “mom” because these terms, according to the school, can be “offensive” to those kids who do not have parents or do not see their parents.

Purpose of the “Inclusive Language”

Grace Church School is a private school in Manhattan, New York. The school shared a 12-page guide called “Grace Inclusive Language Guide.” The guide features a series of categories that include gender, race, sexual orientation, and family. The school urges students to stop using “outdated” terms.

Part of the guide’s overview reads:

“The goal of this guide is to provide the community with more inclusive language that is aligned with the mission of Grace Church School. While we recognize hateful language that promotes racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination are already addressed in our school handbooks, we also recognize that we can do more than ban hateful language; we can use language to create welcoming and inclusive spaces. This guide addresses ways we can remove harmful assumptions from the way we interact with each other.”

Beginning of the guide’s overview where it recommends students not to use terms such as “dad” or “mom” because they are potentially offensive.

For example, under the gender category, the school recommends that instead of saying “boy” or “girl,” students should use a gender-neutral term, such as “child.”

The ultimate goal, Grace Church School argues, is replacing “hateful language” with an “inclusive” language that forms an environment that does not offend others by no assuming another child’s gender.

The school’s guide, which in theory is aimed at children, young people and staff of the institution, sets out recommendations for referring to “non-binary” or “cisgender” people explaining that other terms such as hermaphrodite, transsexual or transvestite are “obsolete”. The school says, for example, that someone who is a hermaphrodite should be referred to as “intersex.”

The school also refers to how offensive it can be to use the “wrong pronoun” to refer to people across “the gender spectrum.” To explain this issue, they linked a 2017 YouTube video dating back where they point out what the “correct pronouns” are to refer to people who are perceived to be “non-binary,” “cisgender,” etc.

“Dad” and “mom” are terms that can “be offensive” at school

However, the aforementioned guidance recommendations, while still surprising, are more or less common in “inclusive language.” What did cause a stir, and was reviewed by various media outlets, are the new recommendations for talking about the “traditional family.”

The section reads:

“Families are formed and structured in many ways. At Grace Church School, we use inclusive language that reflects this diversity. It’s important to refrain from making assumptions about who kids live with, who cares for them, whether they sleep in the same place every night, whether they see their parents, etc.”

The guide says that, in addition, the term “traditional family” is outdated. The recommendation, as with “mom” and “dad,” is not to use it.

The recommendations specifically state that instead of “dad” and “mom”, one should “say grown-ups, folks or family.” Instead of “nanny”, “in Grace we say guardian or caregiver”. Instead of saying “husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend”, “spouse/partner” is used in the New York school.

The words “dad” and “mom” are replaced by “grown-up, folks or family.” The words “husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend” are replaced by “spouse,” “partner,” or “significant other.”

Escuela, New York, «papá», mamá, «puede ser ofensivo»
Screenshot of Grace Church School’s guide.

It also adds that the term “traditional family” is “outdated,” arguing that the school is “actively trying to undo notions of ‘typical’ or ‘normal’ in family structure, because every family is unique.”

“Inclusive language” encompassing more areas

What is striking about the news is the thirst of inclusive language to encompass areas other than the usual areas of gender and race. Going so far as to replace even, the words mom and dad.

This is not the first time that a New York institution has been scrutinized for its overtly defense of gender language. Weeks ago, an education student was suspended from the State University of New York (SUNY) for saying on social media “A man is a man, a woman is a woman” and expressing conservative and biological stances around the debate of people’s perception of gender.

Numerous Americans believe that schools are turning radically to the left. Journalist Megyn Kelly said she was pulling her children away from a New York City school, after the school promoted training for white privilege.

“We pulled our boys from their school and our daughter is going to be leaving hers soon, too. The schools have always been far-left, which doesn’t align with my own ideology, but I didn’t really care. Most of my friends are liberals, it’s fine. I come from Democrats as a family.”

Kelly states as well that she’s not “offended at all by the ideology and I lean center-left on some things, but they’ve gone around the bend. I mean they have gone off the deep-end.”

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

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