School's Language Guide Avoids Words Like 'Mom' and 'Dad' | 22 Words

A school's inclusive language guide has divided opinion this week after it says to avoid using words such as "mom" and "dad"...

And the reasoning behind it is actually more thoughtful than one would think.

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Because as we all know, not all children have moms and dads.

Many students who attend schools come from diverse backgrounds and home lives...

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And many educators know that when students go home, their lives can be vastly different from the classroom.

Since many family structures are different, it's hard to know exactly which students go through which experiences...

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And it's easy for teachers to often generalize their students' lives without realizing they're even doing it.

One big way of doing this is by using the terms "mom and dad" when referencing students' families.

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For teachers, saying things like, "Bring your test home to get signed by your mom and dad," or even using the phrase, "your parents," can be something that seems normal... right?

​But for some students, it's not...

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And this is what has prompted one private school in New York City to change their staff's language guide to a much more "inclusive" one to accommodate all of their students.

But it's certainly divided opinion among parents...

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With many thinking it's simply ridiculous for the language guide to be changed in such a way.

But on the other hand, many agree with the language guide...

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In a twelve-page guide for students and staff at NYC's Grace Church School, it is encouraging people to stray away from the words "mom" and "dad"...

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And to perhaps use more inclusive terms like "folks" or "family."

According to CBN News, the goal is to understand and respect student diversity...

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And the Christian school has suggested that they should "stray away" from specifics, including gendered terms like "nanny" and instead use, "caregiver."

The guide is also looking to showcase acceptance and awareness.

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"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," as stated in the guide.

It's important as an educator to try to "see" all students...

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And while we may not think our students are impacted by our words, using language like this can be "othering" students who do not have moms or dads at home.

What do you think about this new policy?

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Do you think it's a step in the right direction in terms of inclusivity? Or do you think it's totally unnecessary?

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