Human Rights Campaign: Don’t Say ‘Boys and Girls’; Say ‘Friends’ or ‘Students’

The Human Rights Campaign wants to make sure teachers don’t identify students by the gender the students were born with. In other words, when a teacher is talking to all the students, he shouldn’t address them with the usual “boys and girls.” That separates the students by gender stereotypes. To avoid that, teachers should address them as “students,” “friends,” or “scholars.”

Whatever the situation, teachers should never utter the words “boy” or “girl.” For instance, telling the girls to line up first is not appropriate. Instead of focusing on the students’ outward or perceived gender, focus on something more educational. “Anyone wearing a green shirt can line up,” or “If your name has an ‘E’ please line up.” The Human Rights Campaign, which according to their website, works for “Lesbian, Gay,

Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights,” continued with more advice:

For generations teachers have separated students according to their gender for activities or to line up for lunch. However, this can leave some students feeling out-of-place, making them distracted or isolated and not able to focus on learning.

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