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Thread: NYC private school sets forth "inclusive language" guide. Using Mom and Dad are out..

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    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    Default NYC private school sets forth "inclusive language" guide. Using Mom and Dad are out..

    A Manhattan private school aiming to use more “inclusive language” is encouraging its students to stop using the terms “mom,” “dad” and “parents” because the words make “assumptions” about kids’ home lives.

    The Grace Church School in Noho — which offers academic courses for junior kindergarten through 12th grade — issued a 12-page guide to students and staff explaining the school’s mission of inclusivity.

    The detailed guide recommends using the terms “grown-ups,” “folks,” “family” or “guardians” as alternatives to “mom,” “dad” and “parents.” It also suggests using “caregiver” instead of “nanny/babysitter.”

    “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 reads.

    The document also states how to use appropriate terms relating to gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity.

    Instead of asking a person, “What are you? Where are you from?,” the query should be, “What is your cultural/ethnic background? Where are your ancestors/is your family from?,” according to Grace’s guide.


    The school defended the guide, telling City Journal that its goal is to “promote a sense of belonging for all of our students.”

    “Grace is an Episcopal school. As part of our Episcopal identity, we recognize the dignity and worth common to humanity,” the Rev. Robert Pennoyer, assistant head of school, said in a statement to the outlet.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    The guide is in a pdf format. If anyone can post it, please do, I don't know how. It's very interesting. It's only one school but their committee seemed to be very thorough. They list outdated terms as Hermaphrodite, transvestite, transsexual and crossdresser as they go under the umbrella of transgender. I was thinking about someone I know. He's straight, divorced with grown kids. He recently opened up to a small group of friends that he's crossdressing on the weekends far away from his home area. His terminology. He didn't say drag. He doesn't want to transition, he wants to do what he's doing. He's middle aged so maybe he's behind the times with 21st century descriptions. I'd still think of it as plain old crossdressing. The word itself answers questions about it, no? yes?

    https://pdfhost.io/v/MSUTbDaqD_GCS_I...uide_21pdf.pdf





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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^
    Pretty sure cross-dressing is an acceptable term. I think even transvestite is even being reclaimed. Maybe what they’re referring to as outdated is using cross-dresser to describe trans people as if they were interchangeable?

    I’m curious what the reaction has been among the parents? If they just dropped the guide or if it was part of a whole process?
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member OrangeSlice's Avatar
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    I work with a lot of kids who are raised by kinship caregivers, foster parents, residential caregivers, non-relative kinship (yeah, I know it's an oxymoron), and many other configurations. A long time ago we switched to just saying "your grownup(s)" (or something similar) to kids and using "caregivers" with the adults. I really do like that part of the guide in particular. I think if you know a particular student's circumstances and what they call their grown-ups, it's fine to refer to the grownups specifically rather then just using the generic "grownups". I try to ask whenever a new client comes in with a caregiver what they call each other and make a note of it. Most people would be surprised at the differences even among families with similar compositions. Also, especially for kids in foster care, what they refer to their grownups as often changes (though sometimes not!) over time as a kinship caregiver or foster parent might become an adoptive parent later on if reunification doesn't happen.

    As far as terms regarding sexual orientation/identity, that's something that seems to be particular to each individual. Same with cultural/racial terms. That's a tough path to navigate, so I would hope most people would be okay with just being asked what they preferred. I think it's nice in particular that a religious school is working to be more inclusive and I would hope the parents would be on board with that.
    "Schadenfreude, hard to spell, easy to feel." ~VenusinFauxFurs

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    Elite Member lindsaywhit's Avatar
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    Hmmm.... yes, I have to admit, I was ready to do a major eye roll about this, but we are living in a world that comes with a million different types of 'family,' and children feel isolated enough without having to navigate their differences from the first hello. We moved a lot when I was a kid, and it's hard to imagine how much more difficult those moves would have been if my family unit wasn't completely traditional. I guess I'm a fan of this school's efforts to begin with kindness.
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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Given the last few years, this guide seems to have respect & thoughtfulness of others’s feelings & backgrounds (also mentioned that they may/may not have specific tools at home) at the core of an institution.
    May be we have forgotten how to do this?

    I’ve actually emailed it to myself to share with work colleagues as there are some great points in there.
    "I don't know what I am to them, maybe a penguin XD" - Tiny Pixie

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    i agree.

    i think a lot of times the problem is that these types of initiatives are presented in a preachy, kind of dictatorial manner with the emphasis on telling people what they are and aren't allowed to say anymore, and then people take it the wrong way and get defensive or mock it, and it plays directly into the hands of the fox news types and it just devolves into a shouting match. i have no idea if that's the case with this school since there's no context and a quick google only had (negative, of course) reactions from fox news assholes and the typical complaints of PC culture run amok, cancel culture, liberal communism, etc. there's no info on how parents at the school reacted. given that it's new york i'm gonna guess it went over better than if the school had been in texas or something.
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    Elite Member OrangeSlice's Avatar
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    Just reading through the document, it really does appear to come from a good place of wanting to be kind to others. So something from somewhere that claims to be Christian actually seeming to be Christian for once.


    ETA: And Fuck Fox News.
    "Schadenfreude, hard to spell, easy to feel." ~VenusinFauxFurs

    "Scoffing is one of my main hobbies!" ~Trixie

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    If you say, "Your Grownups", you also exclude families like "Party of Five" and "The Outsiders"! Aint no way Darrel Curtis and Bailey Salinger were grownups. Also, it leaves out people who have a dad, but his body is hidden in the basement, like with Jodie Foster and "The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane".

    I like "Your Peeps who have you covered."

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    Elite Member OrangeSlice's Avatar
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    ^ How about using "Your HBIC"?
    MohandasKGanja and MsDark like this.
    "Schadenfreude, hard to spell, easy to feel." ~VenusinFauxFurs

    "Scoffing is one of my main hobbies!" ~Trixie

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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    Back in the '60s, when I was in first grade, my teacher was asking all the kids what their daddies did. I was terrified she would call on me because I didn't know. I went home and asked my mom and she said he sells real estate. I was so relieved to have an answer. Back then, teachers assumed everyone lived with a mommy and daddy. I did not. They were divorced. Which was actually an oddity back then.
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    fgg
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    i've always been the one to volunteer at school and i always had to explain that i'm step-mom not mom-mom to the kids because they always want to know who you are. this is the last few years from K through 3rd grade now. so odd to me because i'm like don't most of you come from divorced homes? my friends and i all grew up in married parent homes but that isn't typical, or at least i thought.
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    czb
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    when my kids were in grade school (just a few years ago), they called the divorced kids 'two house families'. i thought that was a cool way to word it. it seems like the divorced families are not that rare. but not surprising since this is an urban area.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgg View Post
    i've always been the one to volunteer at school and i always had to explain that i'm step-mom not mom-mom to the kids because they always want to know who you are. this is the last few years from K through 3rd grade now. so odd to me because i'm like don't most of you come from divorced homes? my friends and i all grew up in married parent homes but that isn't typical, or at least i thought.
    When my kids were in elementary school, I volunteered for different activities - reading, professional day, field day, etc. Even though I'm a bio custodial dad who is still married, I still felt like an outsider. The inner circle consisted of stay-at-home parents who were involved in pretty much every school activity. They talked very easily among themselves since they were involved in so many activities together.
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    czb
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    yeah, there are a LOT of stay at homes here (moms and dads) who make volunteering in the schools their career. not convinced it improves the kids' education or quality of life.

    *flame away*

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    fgg
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    ^i think it is smothering overkill. there was a girl in one of my step-sons' classes that was accompanied by a parent EVERY DAY to school. i volunteered randomly (employed full-time) and these people literally just sat in the classroom all day every day.
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