In a recent development, the New Jersey State Board of Education (NJSBE) has garnered attention for its adoption of an equity policy that introduces gender-neutral language to education practices across the state. Here’s the full story.
The equity policy, known as the Managing For [Equality and] Equity in Education policy, aims to ensure that all students, regardless of race, sexual orientation, or gender identity, have equal access to educational activities and programs provided by district boards of education.
Impartial Educational Environment
The policy emphasizes the importance of fostering a fair, just, and impartial educational environment for all individuals.
One notable aspect of this policy change is the introduction of gender-neutral language throughout educational regulations.
Respect Gender Identity of Every Student
This shift aims to create an educational environment that respects and acknowledges the gender identity and expression of all students.
Removing “Female and Male” Terms
One specific change involves substituting the terms “minority, female, and male” with the more inclusive term “all students.”
This alteration reflects a broader movement towards using language that encompasses the entire student population without making assumptions based on gender categories.
The adoption of gender-neutral language has not been without its share of controversies and debates.
The Problems This May Cause
During the adoption process, parents’ rights advocates voiced their concerns about the changes, expressing worries about the potential implications for girls’ educational opportunities.
Some argued that removing specific gender terms might undermine the rights and protections of biological girls.
In response to these concerns, the NJSBE emphasized that the changes were designed to align with the principles of equity and inclusivity.
The Board Issued Clarifications
The board clarified that the goal was to eliminate gendered nouns and pronouns from educational regulations while promoting an environment that upholds the rights and protections of all students, regardless of their gender identity.
Creating a Standardized Language
The NJSBE clarified that these changes do not require local school districts to adopt gender-neutral language or alter their curriculum; rather, they focus on creating standardized language in state regulations.
Twitter Users Expressed Their Thoughts
Several social media users shared their views on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “That has nothing to do with equity.”
Teach Them to Read and Write
Another user added, “That’s nice but can they teach them to read, write, and do math now?”
Males and Females Differ
A third user commented, “How do you say, “All students will stand up when they pee”? Just saying, males and females are different.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.