A primary school in Birmingham has banned what they consider “sexist” terms and is encouraging students to hold teachers accountable.
Headteacher Sarah Hewitt Clarkson has been on Good Morning Britain explaining her choices for the banning of phrases in Anderton Park Primary.
Hewitt believes that by using “sexist” phrases such as “boys and girls”, you risk dividing people unnecessarily and do not include those who do not identify as either sex. Hewitt stated on Good Morning: “Of course we use the words boys and girls if you just think about it for a minute it’s a slightly strange way of dividing a room of people and just “good morning everyone” is more inclusive.”
According to the Independent, children would be encouraged to: “Hold up posters calling out teachers when they use banned terms. At the end of each week, two pupils reportedly receive certificates for flagging the best examples.”
Furthermore, Hewitt believes that removing “sexist” phrases are damaging to young boys’ mental health. As phrases such as “man up” and “grow a pair” they don’t express their feelings. This Hewitt believes can be very damaging for them, and their mental health. She stated: “boys are told ‘man up, grow a pair, don’t cry, boy’s don’t cry’ it’s very very damaging for them.”
However, many have been quick to criticise her position, with many believing she is teaching toddlers and above to be “snowflakes”. Another guest, BBC reporter Nana Akua, who was also present on Good Morning Britain strongly disagreed with the approach.
The Independent also writes that Sarah Hewitt Clarkson, the headteacher, has made headlines before when parents protested her LGBT+ Inclusive curriculum, causing the school to close early.