Teachers calling their pupils ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ may soon become a thing of the past as there are new plans to make a warmer environment for gender-diverse students.
According to the draft guidelines on gender identity from the Northern Territory’s Education Department, there will be some steps to take to make sure children questioning their gender would not be offended in class.
Sports days in school would not be split between girls and boys. Students on school camps and overnight trips would also be allowed to use bathrooms and sleep in rooms of their ‘affirmed gender.’
“Using gendered language such as ‘girls and boys’ or ‘ladies and gentlemen’ confirms gender stereotyping and roles and can be alienating for gender questioning and gender diverse children,’ the document says,” the document reads.
“Avoid this by using vocabulary such as ‘students’, ‘class’, ‘crew’, ‘everyone’, people’ or ‘year X’ that are more inclusive.”
Schools have also been encouraged to organize “non-gendered” events, sport days, and teams.
To cater gender diverse children, rules around clothing should also be changed, the document continues.
“Many transgender and gender diverse children often withdraw from taking part in sport and physical activities because they feel highly uncomfortable or are forced into teams that do not match with their gender identity,” the document reads.
LGBTIQ students who require “increased privacy” may also receive private rooms.
In addition, a warning that concerns from other students may be seen as bullying.
“If a child, or their peers, do not agree that they would feel safe and comfortable sharing, seek alternative solutions and acknowledge that this is an indication of possible exclusionary behavior and potential bullying toward the LGBTQI child,” the guidelines read.
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