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Not just for colleges: Massachusetts high school eliminates the title ‘master’

Lowell High School in Massachusetts is demonstrating just how “sensitive” and “tolerant” it is by following the lead of several universities: It will ditch the titles “headmaster” and “housemaster” from its collective vocabulary.

This action is a response to “a major racial incident last year.”

Head of School (used to be “Headmaster”) Brian Martin recommended that the titles be altered this past Wednesday, saying “the school should recognize what those terms have meant in the past.”

“If you look at what’s happened in our times, I think the high school should be part of where we go in the future with our titles and just who we are as a school community,” he added.

The school’s now-permanent “Cultural Competency Task Force” — run by students — also had recommended the title changes, among other things.

School staff now will have to attend (wait for it!) cultural-sensitivity training, and an “advisory student committee” will assist in establishing a “more diverse workforce” at Lowell.

More from the Lowell Sun:

Students on the task force, formed in the aftermath of a racially charged texting conversation that went viral, told the School Committee how the group changed its thinking.

Amy Boateng, who graduated this year, said she didn’t really think she could talk to any of her teachers before about such issues.

“The teachers actually care about what we think, they care about how we feel,” she said.

The School Committee also reviewed a new gender-identity policy that allows students to choose the pronoun with which they identify.

MORE: Racism ended: Harvard masters now ‘faculty deans’

The policy also allows students to access restrooms or facilities that correspond to their gender identity, although they are subject to the same rules as their peers while using the facilities.

Students who are uncomfortable using a shared space may use a different private area or have a separate changing schedule.

Records concerning gender transition, assigned birth name and sex will be contained in a separate, confidential file.

Assistant Superintendent Jeannine Durkin said the policy is based on guidelines from the state’s Department of Education, with consideration to an advisory the U.S. Department of Justice sent out last month.


Bet this Sugar Hill Gang member’s alias is next.

In the past year, Yale and Harvard eliminated “master” due to its “negative” connotations, and Susquehanna University chucked its “crusader” moniker for the same reason … even though neither appellation had any relation to the “insensitivity” about which some complained.

MORE: Susquehanna goes politically correct, ditches ‘Crusader’

MORE: Yale masters officially recommend their title be changed

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About the Author
Assistant Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 15 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

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