Primary school headteacher in Birmingham bans ‘damaging sexist’ phrases like ‘boys and girls’

Primary school headteacher in Birmingham bans ‘damaging sexist’ phrases like ‘boys and girls’

A Birmingham primary school has banned phrases like “man up” and “good morning boys and girls” due to concerns that they are sexist.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Sarah Hewitt Clarkson, the headteacher of Anderton Park Primary, said the phrase “good morning everyone” should be used instead of “boys and girls” because it does not create a gender divide and includes those people who might not identify as either sex.

She said: “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.

“There may be a couple of children in schools who don’t really identify as a boy or a girl so ‘good morning everyone’ is a far more inclusive way of saying everyone instead of choosing a division that is one particular characteristic of your person.”

Children at the school are taught to hold up posters calling out teachers when they use the banned terms. At the end of each week, two pupils reportedly receive certificates for flagging the best examples.

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She added that if young boys are not allowed to talk about their feelings it can damage them in later life and said if sexist language is not “challenged” and “boys are told ‘man up, grow a pair, don’t cry, boy’s don’t cry’ it’s very very damaging for them.”

Reacting to her policies, Hewitt-Clarkson faced inevitable backlash from those claiming she was encouraging pupils to be ‘snowflakes’:

BBC broadcaster Nana Akua who was taking part in the debate said move risked “creating a generation of wallflower kids who are listening for an offence”.

And it is not the first time Hewitt-Clarkson has made headlines. In 2019, parents demonstrated outside her school against the school’s LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum.

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