A Vermont elementary school has announced it will no longer be using the terms ‘male’ or ‘female’ when teaching fifth-grade students about human reproductive systems and puberty.
Parents were sent a letter from the Founders Memorial School on April 20 informing them of the changes.
The changes come amid the district’s desire to use “gender-inclusive language,” according to principal Sara Jablonski.
Jablonski wrote in the letter:
“In an effort to align our curriculum with our equity policy, teachers will be using gender-inclusive language throughout this unit. With any differences, we strive to use ‘person-first’ language as best practice.”
Teachers will say “person who produces sperm” instead of using the term “male.”
Likewise, teachers will no longer say “girl” or “female” and instead say “person who produces eggs.”
In the letter, the Essex Westford School District noted that teachers were working on editing worksheets to reflect the new gender term changes.
As the New York Post reported:
While teaching students about the human body, the district said it will focus on “the physical and emotional changes that occur during puberty and briefly introduce the basic structure and function of human reproductive systems.”
Parents and guardians interested in viewing the materials themselves were told a binder containing the handouts could be found in the school’s main office.
The director of outreach for parents’ rights group Parents Defending Education shared the letter on Twitter:
“New language rules just dropped for 5th graders in Vermont, and they don’t include the words boy and girl or male and female,” wrote Erika Sanzi reffering to the school.
However, the letter received mixed reviews.
“Speaking about anyone in this way is dehumanizing in any context, but these new language rules specifically apply to a health unit for 5th graders about puberty and reproduction,” a spokesperson for the group said.
“It is clear that the school has decided to be derelict in its duty to educate students in the name of equity. If anyone is wondering what it looks like when an elementary school has been captured by gender ideology, this is it.”
Some Twitter were outraged by the letter, comparing it to Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel “Brave New World.”
“Absurd. A person who produces sperm is, by definition, a male. A person who produces eggs is, by definition, a female,” one Twitter user wrote. “And sex is not ‘assigned’ at birth; it’s observed at birth. How exhausting all this nonsense is.”
In June 2021, the Essex Westford School District’s school board adopted a new equity policy that would “use anti-racist and LGBTQIA+ affirming perspectives to inform curriculum decisions starting in Pre-K.”