January 20 2016
It used to be: "Heather has two mommies."
Now, it's: "Heather has two non-gendered and inclusive caregivers."
That's the language the New Democratic Party government in Alberta, Canada, is telling teachers and school administrators to use when adressing the adults with whom students are living. Out: "mother" and "father." In: "parent," "caregiver," "partner," whatever.
And God help you if refer to one of the little rascals as "him" or "her."
School forms, websites, letters, and other communications use non-gendered and inclusive language (e.g., parents/guardians, caregivers, families, partners, “student” or “their” instead of Mr., Ms., Mrs., mother, father, him, her, etc.)."
The purpose of the guidelines, according to the text, is to create "learning communities" that "respect diverse sexual orientations, gender identies, and gender expressions."
And that means that the kids, no matter how young or how old, get to pick their own gender and force everyone else in the school to abide by their choice:
Self-identification is the sole measure of an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression....
Some individuals may not feel included in the use of the pronouns “he” or “she” and may prefer alternate pronouns, such as “ze,” “zir,” “hir,” “they” or “them,” or might wish to express themselves or self-identify in other ways (e.g., Mx. instead or Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss, or no prefix at all)....
When creating student/staff lists, school staff ensure gender designations are not included either beside individual names or as a composite number for the group
Trying to remember whether little "Mx." Jones wants to be a "zir" or a "hir" sounds hard enough. But then the guidelines get to this:
If sports teams are divided by gender, students are given the opportunity to participate on the team that reflects their gender identity and expression… Students with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions have a right to accommodation when it comes to the use of washroom and change room facilities that are congruent with their gender identity. This applies during school time and school-related activities on and off school property.
And the "accommodation" means that if you're a girl and you don't like the idea of someone in the shower room who claims to be a girl but looks exactly like a boy anatomically, you're the one who has to move:
A student who objects to sharing a washroom or change-room with a student who is trans or gender-diverse is offered an alternative facility.
And also, adults who claim to belong to a different sex from the one they anatomically resemble get to be in that shower room, too!
Family members are able to access washrooms that are congruent with their gender identity.
Alberta, nestled in the Canadian Rockies and famous for its Texas-style cattle ranches and oilfields, used to be Canada's most conservative province, until the NDP swept the elections in May 2015.
And now that the Alberta progressives have consolidated their power over schoolchildren, you'd better not be overheard heard in the hallways saying, "So's your mama."
It's "So's your caregiver."