Relaymedia

Gender Neutrality: Neb. Teachers Ordered to Call Children 'Purple Penguins' to Make Classroom Gender-Inclusive

( [email protected] ) Oct 10, 2014 01:56 PM EDT

Children
Children must no longer be referred to by gender-specific names such as ''boy'' and ''girl,'' according to a new policy implemented by a Nebraska school 

The administrators of a school in Lincoln, Nebraska have announced teachers are no longer permitted to address students by gender-specific terms such as "boys" and girls" in an effort to make their classrooms gender-inclusive and gender-neutral.

"Don't use phrases such as 'boys and girls,' 'you guys,' 'ladies and gentlemen,' and similarly gendered expressions to get kids' attention," reads a handout from the Lincoln Public Schools that was given to teachers, reports the National Review.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the handout was created by Gender Spectrum, an organization that "provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages."

"The agenda we're promoting is to help all kids succeed," Brenda Leggiardo the district's coordinator of social workers and counselors told the newspaper.

"We have kids who come to us with a whole variety of circumstances, and we need to equitably serve all kids," she said, adding that it was part of an effort to educate teachers and administrators about transgender issues.

Teachers are also encouraged to segregate the children by whether they prefer skateboards or bikes, or whether they like milk or juice, instead of by their gender.

"Always ask yourself, 'Will this configuration create a gendered space?'" the handout stated.

The Nebraska Watchdog website published copies of the handouts, titled, "12 easy steps on the way to gender inclusiveness..."

"Provide an opportunity for every student to identify a preferred name or pronoun," the document reads. "At the beginning of the year or at Back-to-School Night, invite students and parents to let you know if they have a preferred name and/or pronoun by which they wish to be referred."

However, some parents disagree the decision. Rachel Terry, whose children attend the school, sent an email to other parents accusing the district of social re-engineering, and argued that it was using taxpayer dollars to promote "the deconstruction of fundamental family and religious values."

"They aren't purple penguins. They are children. Some are boys, some are girls. Some are tall, some are short. They have so many differences, yet are unique. God is amazing. Why are you taking away their individuality?" added commentor Sonya Mae.