Schools told to drop ‘Mr,’ ‘Mrs,’ ‘Sir,’ and ‘Madam’ in favor of gender-neutral terms when addressing teachers

By Thomas Brooke
2 Min Read

An online teaching session funded by the largest teachers’ union in Europe told its participants to suggest to children that they avoid gender-specific language when addressing teachers at school, it has emerged.

The webinar, paid for by the National Education Union (NEU), focused on moving towards a gender-free model of education for students of all ages.

The session, titled “Getting the language right for 2022,” suggested dropping phrases such as ‘son,’ ‘mother,’ ‘boy,’ and ‘girl’ and to use more socially-inclusive language.

Attendees of the online session were also advised to remove the words ‘male’ and ‘female’ from school application forms, and to phase out the use of ‘Sir’, ‘Madam’, ‘Mr’, and ‘Mrs’ when students are engaging with their teachers.

Other words that were now deemed to be offensive or socially insensitive included ‘head boy,’ ‘head girl,’ and ‘headmaster,’ and schools were asked to consider the introduction of gender-free uniforms.

The leader of the session, Dr. Elly Barnes, insisted the gender-free model being suggested had proven to be a success at other schools her charity, Educate and Celebrate, had been involved with.

The charity claims to be “building a future of inclusion and social justice” on its website, and pledges to equip attendees of its training courses “with the knowledge, skills and confidence to embed gender, gender identity and sexual orientation into the fabric of your organization.”

One anonymous attendee described the session’s material as “propaganda for trans activists,” telling the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper: “Teachers will take what this woman says as fact because the training was organized by the NEU, and they’re not going to question their union.

“They’re trying to erase us by taking away our language, saying we should avoid words like mother and we’re paying for it essentially,” she added.

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