Teachers at a New Mexico school have been told they can no longer refer to their pupils as “boys and girls” and must opt for neutral alternatives instead in order to eliminate gender norms in classrooms, reports local news station KOB 4.
Staff at Albuquerque’s Carlos Rey Elementary School were sent a memo by their assistant principle titled “Gender Identity Procedural Directive” which informed them that their language must change.
This comes just months after Albuquerque Public Schools’ administration enforced a ‘Non-Discrimination for Students: Gender Identity and Expression’ policy on local schools.
The policy allows for transgender children to choose the bathroom and locker room they identify with and for children to “have the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun corresponding to their gender identity that is asserted at school.”
Rev. Adelious D. Stith, who regularly attends regularly attends APS board meetings, told KOB 4 that he believes the assistant principles is over-stepping the directive.
Stith added: “This is outlandish. This just makes no sense at all.
“She or he is now exercising what they believe.
“It’s their spin on the directive. They are confused obviously. We can call them scientists, but we can’t call them boys and girls. This is ridiculous.”
However Adrien Lawyer with the Transgender Resource Center told KOB 4 that the assistant principal was acting in the right interests of the classroom.
He added: “What the principal was trying to say is let’s think about how we address students and all of the gendered language that we use all day every day and whether or not we really have to do that.
The Albuquerque Public Schools’ policy was introduced 9 March this year and states that students have the right to be referred to as any gender they wish and “shall not be required to obtain a court ordered name, a gender change or to change their official records before they may be addressed by the name and pronoun that corresponds to their gender identity.”