School district: Don’t call students ‘boys and girls’ in the classroom

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A school district in Lincoln, Neb. advised teachers to not use gender expressions by calling students “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentlemen.”

It’s all part of an effort to promote gender inclusiveness.

According to, a handout called “12 easy steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” encouraged teachers to use more generic phrases like campers, readers, athletes, or even purple penguins.

The handout also advised teachers to avoid using the word “normal” to define behaviors, and  separating students by gender, but instead use birthdays or preference. Teachers could ask students whether they prefer skateboards or bikes, milk or juice, dogs or cats, etc.

“Always ask yourself, ‘Will this configuration create a gendered space?’” said in Step 1 of the handout.

The school’s principal told the Lincoln JournalStar that the handouts were suggestions for teachers, not students or parents, on how to make students feel comfortable.


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