Purple Penguins

  • 3 November 2014
  • jwoodie
Purple Penguins

At first, we dismissed this story as too outrageous to be true. There is no way any public school would do something this stupid. But true it is:

"A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by 'gendered expressions' such as 'boys and girls,' and use 'gender inclusive' ones such as 'purple penguins' instead.

"'Don't use phrases such as 'boys and girls,' 'you guys,' 'ladies and gentlemen,' and similarly gendered expressions to get kids' attention," instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools.

"'Create classroom names and then ask all of the 'purple penguins' to meet on the rug,' it advises.

"The document also warns against asking students to 'line up as boys or girls,' and suggests asking them to line up by whether they prefer 'skateboards or bikes/milk or juice/dogs or cats/summer or winter/talking or listening.'

"'Always ask yourself . . . 'Will this configuration create a gendered space?' the document says."

Now you know why SAT scores have remained flat for the last generation or so. There is increasingly less time devoted to actual teaching, and more time wasted on "gender space."

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