This has ruffled a few feathers.
A headteacher has banned staff at her primary school from saying “morning, boys and girls.”
Headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson insists the greeting is a “slightly strange way of dividing a group of people.”
She has suggested that staff swap the phrase to “good morning everyone” in order to be more inclusive.
Hewitt-Clarkson describes herself as an ‘equality warrior’, and it’s not the only phrase that has been banned.
The headteacher has also told staff not to use terms like “man up”, “grow a pair” and “boys don’t cry”.
She says it’s part of a renewed effort to cut out sexism, bullying and abuse within the school.
However, critics say she is “creating a generation of wallflower kids”.
Children as young as three are taught to hold up posters flagging ‘sexist’ terms.
The two pupils who find the best examples are rewarded with certificates.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Mrs Hewitt- Clarkson said: “We have seen in the last year the biggest ever rise in child abuse, in grooming, for example, and if our boys and girls grow up and in school we don’t challenge this kind of sexist language and boys are told “man up, grow a pair, don’t cry, boys don’t cry”, then it is very, very damaging for them.”
“Abusers in later life, or bullies in school… will also use this fear, and fear is the biggest weapon that abusers have and if boys get told “boys aren’t afraid”, then… where are they going to go when they are afraid?”
Anti-LGBTQ+ protesters have previously protested outside the school in Moseley, Birmingham. They were unhappy that the school was teaching students about equal rights in 2019.
Good Morning Britain Presenter Ben Sheppard said some of the phrases mentioned were being phased out anyway.
He then went on to ask why saying “good morning boys and girls” was an issue.
Mrs Hewitt-Clarkson said the phrase divides the class unnecessarily.
Broadcaster Nana Akua wasn’t impressed: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’d be very worried if this woman was teaching my kids.”
“What I think we are doing here now is dissecting language in the most clinical form, and then creating a generation of wallflower kids who are literally listening for an offence.”
“It is getting to the point where we are losing a grip here. Really we should be teaching the kids context of language and how to use a language that is non-offensive in a context.”
She added: “If you take something out of a context and dissect all the bits and pieces you will find yourself in a black hole so let’s take the word ‘mankind’ – does she allow that?”
New figures released show that child helplines have received a record number of calls during the pandemic. There are fears around abuse and neglect of children.
One parent tweeted: ‘I’d quite like school to teach my kids to read and write etc. I don’t need them wasting time on banning phrases like ‘morning guys’. Far too much time and energy wasted on ridiculous things.’
Another wrote: “I am a teacher and think this is ridiculous. Concentrate on reading, writing and maths with the boys and girls.”
The school was previously at the centre of scandal when protests turned nasty over the ‘No Outsiders’ curriculum programme at the school.
A dead dog was strung up on the railings at the entrance to her school, plus dismembered cats were thrown onto the playground.
Mrs Hewitt-Clarkson has death threats sent to her on social media.
One read: “Any headteacher who teaches my children it’s alright to be gay will be at the end of my shotgun.”
The program aimed to teach students about the positive values of diversity, tolerance and acceptance.
It also taught them about LGBT rights, same-sex relationships, gender identity, race, religion and colour.
According to the Daily Mail, more than 80 per cent of the pupils at Anderton primary are Muslim.
Protestors handed out leaflets that declared ‘We DO NOT believe in homosexuality. Parents do NOT want their children’s belief changed.’
Others read ‘This programme promotes a whole-school gay ethos’ and ‘You can’t be gay and Muslim’.
Do you agree with the headteacher?
Image via Alamy