Parents with students enrolled in the Essex Westford School District in Vermont received surprising memos last week. They were informed that the terms “male,” “female” and other similar phrases would be removed from certain lessons.
“New language rules just dropped for fifth graders in Vermont, and they don’t include the words ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ or ‘male’ and ‘female,’” a user tweeted yesterday (April 25) morning. The post included a copy of the letter sent out to parents. “Dear [fifth] grade families and caregivers,” the April 20 bulletin began. The district noted, “It is time for our science/health unit about the human body focused on puberty and the human reproductive systems.” They added, “In an effort to align our curriculum with our equity policy, teachers will be using gender inclusive language throughout this unit.”
Teachers: “Good morning, egg and sperm people!” 😑
— Pikku (@p_pikku) April 25, 2023
For anyone confused, the Vermont district clarified that the terms “boy, male, and assigned male at birth” would now be referred to as “person who produces sperm.” Those formerly called “girl, female and assigned female at birth” would be “person who produces eggs” moving forward. Almost immediately, social media users took offense. “‘Caregivers’ not ‘parents.’ This is a great example of ‘language manipulation,’ and it’s part of SEL, which focuses on ‘equity’ and ‘feeling safe,’” one person wrote.
Many blasted the changes: “Absurd. A person who produces sperm is, by definition, a male. A person who produces eggs is, by definition, a female. And sex is not ‘assigned’ at birth, it’s observed at birth. How exhausting all this nonsense is.” Another tweeted, “I love this. Teaching biology without including biology. It’s better than a parody.” Some pointed out how the new wording may come across as odd. “Teachers: ‘Good morning, egg and sperm people!’” The Essex Westford School District concluded their letter by informing parents that they are able to contact their respective campuses with questions.
See more reactions below.
Absurd. A person who produces sperm is, by definition, a male. A person who produces eggs is, by definition, a female.
And sex is not "assigned" at birth, it's observed at birth.
How exhausting all this nonsense is.
— Stephen Parker (@ParkerPhonics) April 25, 2023
Crazy stuff. Dehumanizing really.
— Brian C. Newberry (@BrianCNewberry) April 25, 2023
“Caregivers” not “parents”. This is a great example of “language manipulation” and it’s part of SEL which focuses on “equity” and “feeling safe”.
— Courage Is A Habit (@CourageHabit) April 25, 2023
I love this. Teaching biology without including biology.
It's better than a parody.
— Michael Morey (@MoreyMichael) April 25, 2023
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