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Government shouldn’t force teachers to use transgender pronouns: op-ed

Refusing to call a transgender student by their preferred pronoun is something that teachers should be able to do without getting fired, a new op-ed argues.

Writing for The Daily Signal, columnist Nicole Russell recounted several instances where the issue of transgender pronouns had caused a problem between a teacher, student and school administrators.

Russell specifically pointed to a situation in Jacksonville, Florida, where a teacher at a high school declined to address a student who was born male with female pronouns.

“I will NOT refer to you with female pronouns,” the teacher reportedly told the student via email. “If this is not acceptable for you, change classes. I will call you by any reasonable name you like, but the pronouns are not a negotiable thing for me.”

That teacher remains on staff at the same school, but school district implemented sensitivity training in response.

From the column:

The federal government has no business forcing teachers or administrators to use preferred pronouns.

If the Trump administration would like to stay ahead of this trend, the Education Department should issue new guidance clarifying that teachers, students, and administrators remain free to speak consistent with their belief that a person is born either male or female.

It’s unfortunate that so many education officials already have outlined guidelines that protect students’ feelings but compel adults to use language that defies biological norms.

The public education system should strive to protect the legal rights of both students and teachers while providing a safe, respectful atmosphere to teach and learn.

Read the full op-ed here.

IMAGE: Vaibhav Bhosale / Flickr

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