Melbourne schools urged not to use “mum and dad,” get rid of gendered sports teams for inclusivity

Melbourne schools urged not to use “mum and dad,” get rid of gendered sports teams for inclusivity
Paris Buttfield-Addison
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Melbourne schools are being called upon by activist groups to cease their use of gender-specific terms like “mum” and “dad” in an effort to be more “gender-inclusive.”

Schools are urged to replace gendered terms with gender-neutral terms such as “parent” or “partner” instead of mom, dad, boyfriend and girlfriend. Furthermore, unisex bathrooms, non-gendered sporting teams and displaying rainbow and trans pride flags are recommended to improve inclusivity on school grounds. 

The bid to banish gendered terms comes amid the the launch of the #SpeakingUpSpeaksVolumes campaign by the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network to support LGBTQI+ students in schools. 

The Daily Mail reports that the campaign is using material from Proud2Play and VicHealth, which includes strategies for schools and sports teams including proposals to replace boys’ and girls’ sports teams with non-gendered teams that include students of both sexes.

This would effectively allow boys to engage in contact sports with members of the fairer sex, but due to the newfound belief that there is no meaningful distinction between men and women, the sports are expected to be fair — at least that’s what organizers appear to think. 

Parents are also being asked to question others about what pronouns they use in an effort to include parents in the woke campaign. 

In a statement on Monday, the organization said the campaign was not about mandating the use of pronouns like mom or dad, but is instead “focused on addressing the very serious impacts that bullying and discrimination has on LGBTIQ+ people, children, and young people in particular.”

The Daily Mail reports that one mother whose child identifies as “gender not-sure” said that the support of their school is crucial to her son's growth. 

“There needs to always be obvious support and prevention so kids like Jax don't have their confidence derailed,” she said. 

The head of the Elevation Secondary College in Craigieburn, Colin Bourke, said that homophobia in schools was “really detrimental to our student culture,” and added that the schools were doing a lot to ensure that LGBTQI+ students felt included. 

Apparently one way to make them feel included is by making bathrooms unisex. “This includes gender non-specific bathrooms and taking down some of the boys and girls signs,” he said.

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