SCHOOL TOLD TO CALL KIDS ‘PURPLE PENGUINS’ BECAUSE ‘BOYS AND GIRLS’ IS NOT INCLUSIVE TO TRANSGENDER

“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools. “Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises. The document also warns against asking students to “line up as boys or girls,” and suggests asking them to line up by whether they prefer “skateboards or bikes/milk or juice/dogs or cats/summer or winter/talking or listening.” The instructions were part of a list called “12 steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” developed by Gender Spectrum, an organization that “provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages.” Other items on the list include asking all students about their preferred pronouns and decorating the classroom with “all genders welcome” door hangers. If teachers still find it “necessary” to mention that genders exist at all, the document states, they must list them as “boy, girl, both or neither.”

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