GMB: Teacher says her school is challenging ‘sexist language’
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Headteacher Sarah explained children at her primary school have been taught to reject the use of “sexist” language by teachers. Phrases banned include “man up”, “grow a pair” and even “boys and girls”. She explained to Good Morning Britain hosts Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid why she thought it was “damaging”.
The headteacher of Anderton Park Primary explained: “In the last year we have seen the biggest ever increase in child abuse and grooming.
“If our boys, and girls, grow up and we don’t address this sexist language where boys are told to ‘man up’, ‘grow a pair’, ‘boys don’t cry’, it is very damaging for them.
“Abusers later on, or bullies, will also use this fear.
“Fear is the biggest weapon that abusers have.
“If boys are told that boys aren’t afraid, boys don’t get scared, boys don’t talk about their feelings, then where are they going to go when they are afraid?”
Host Ben noted: “I think that over the last 10 or 15 years, I have boys who are teenagers now, phrases like that are being phased out.
“Phrases like ‘man up’ or ‘boys don’t cry’ or ‘boys don’t wear dresses’ all that set of stuff.
“But the idea that using a phrase like boys and girls as ‘good morning boys and girls’ to a class that has boys and girls in, can you explain the issue around that?”
Broadcaster Nana Akua hit back saying we shouldn’t focus on the specific words but on the context.
“To be honest I would be very worried if this woman was teaching my kids, it’s absolutely ridiculous.
“What we are doing here is dissecting language in the most clinical form and creating a generation of wallflower kids who are listening for an offence.
“I go to schools and I lecture in schools and I talk to kids. Can you imagine if I went to her school and said, ‘Good morning guys’?
“It is getting to the point where we are losing grip here. We need to be looking at the context of language and that’s what I’ll be teaching my children.”
Nana added: “To say ‘good morning boys and girls’ if you are seriously picking that apart then I feel your energy is in the wrong place. “
Viewers watching at home were quick to weigh on the debate with many divided over Sarah’s decision.
“100% agree with this schools approach to debunking the myth of stereotyping of boys and girls,” one viewer posted.
“Just treat them like equals in every way. Having two boys I know first hand the pressure of expectations society puts on them. The indoctrination of children has gone on far too long.”
Another argued: “Teaching kids at 3 about these issues is ridiculous just let them be children.”
“Good grief can believe what I have just heard most 3 year old dont know what there favourite colour is never mind how to identify. Just allow them to play fgs,” another posted.
Someone else continued: ”Oh for the love of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey, whatever next. This is getting beyond ridiculous.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.
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