Yesterday, I spent a little time on the Dark Side. I volunteered at my middle son's school at the semi-annual book fair. I hate the PTA. I hate the way they do business. I hate the Steppford cliqueness they always seem to have - I HATE the PTA. But that's not the change I am talking about. I am talking about the change in class language.
We were helping kids make their wish lists at the Book Fair. When the kids would line up the teacher didn't call them "boys and girls" "children" or even "students". she called them "friends". Children in other classes were Mrs./Mr. So and So's "Friends". I asked one of the other volunteers what the deal with the creepy "friends" bit was. The principal has determined in her infinite wisdom that calling the kids "students", "children" or even "boys and girls" is harming to the children. Friends is more gender neutral.
Also gone are the words "be quiet", "Simmer down" and anything else askimg for silence and listening. To gin a class' attention noiw the teacher (or libriarian) must clap a rhythmic clap which the "young friends" return to show they are ready to listen.
"Be quiet" and the like are listed on an inapproprate words list.
Honestly. To call a child by their gender and ask them to sit down, be quiet and listen to the paid teachers is harming to the esteem of a child?
Somebody needs to stop smoking crack and the bong water needs to be changed.
Color me crazy, but I am not concerned about harming my eight year old's gender identity. I was there when he was born with ten fingers, ten toes and a penis, that he was proud to show, in perfect working order. What I am concerned with is quality of learning that my child receives. I care that he is learning to add, subtract, multiply and divide. I care that he's learning to write a complete sentence and paragraph. I care that he's learning how tou use the dictionary and encyclopedia. we send our kids to school to learn to follow instructions and interact with others. I have never been to a business meeting where some one got their feeling because they were asked to take their seats and be quiet so the meeting could start. I would be appalled that some one had to clap a beat to get the room's attention.