[lg policy] Australia: Calls for intervention over Sydney girls’ school gender neutral language policy
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Wed Jul 20 10:32:10 EDT 2016
Calls for intervention over Sydney girls’ school gender neutral language
July 20, 201610:55am
Teachers at all-girls school in Sydney told to stop referring to students
Liz Burke <http://www.news.com.au/more-information/the-team/liz-burke>
news.com.au at lizeburke <http://twitter.com/lizeburke>
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*A LEADING Sydney girls’ school’s decision to eliminate gender-specific
terms from its teachers’ vocabularies has prompted calls for sackings and
government intervention at the exclusive institution.*
Teachers at the prestigious northwest Sydney school, Cheltenham Girls High
School, have been asked to stop referring to students as “girls”, “ladies”
and “women”, and use only gender-neutral language, *The Daily Telegraph
<http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/>* today reported.
The request was put to teachers at a staff meeting earlier this year
discussing the implementation of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program,
the newspaper reports.
It was suggested to teachers that by using such language they could be seen
to be breaking the law and could be at risk of being sued by LGBTI students.
Discussing the article on Sydney radio station 2GB, talkback shock jock
Chris Smith described the arrangement as “deplorable”.
“They’ve been scared into doing this by whoever’s pushing that twisted
bible the Safe Schools program, and they’re scared of somehow being sued,”
[image: The gender-neutral language rule is believed to be encourages by
the Safe Schools guidelines. The LGBTI supportive initiative, and
opposition to it, has prompted protests around the country. Picture: Daniel
The gender-neutral language rule is believed to be encourages by the Safe
Schools guidelines. The LGBTI supportive initiative, and opposition to it,
has prompted protests around the country. Picture: Daniel Wilkins*Source:*News
Smith took calls from listeners calling for the minister responsible to
step in and the teachers, principals and administrative staff to be sacked
and the school taken over by administrators.
He said if the school was serious about its new language policy, it should
take its signage with white paint, eliminating the world “girls” from its
“You just wonder what world we’re talking about, we’re talking about our
suburbs,” he said.
Speaking on Seven’s *Sunrise* program, former news presenter Ron Wilson
described the situation as “ridiculous”.
“Let’s step in and put a new board in place just like Parramatta,” he said.
There has been similar commentary on Nine’s *Today* this morning, with *Sunday
Mail* editor Peter Gleeson telling the program the initiative was
“overreach at its worst”.
“I am all for diversity and making sure that our younger generation
understand exactly what is gong on within the community, but to implement
something like this, it’s just ridiculous.”
NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has asked his department to
In an interview with Macquarie Radio, the Minister confirmed there was a
meeting at the school reminding teachers of discriminatory language and
denied it was connected to Safe Schools.
“I don’t think there’s anything improper about that,” he said.
A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education told news.com.au
gender-specific terms would still be used by teachers at the school.
“Gender-specific terms will continue to be used by Cheltenham Girls’ High
School when referring to students.
“As the Education Minister has asked the Department for a report on public
claims raised in relation to this matter, it is not appropriate to comment
further on them at this time.”
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