TALLAHASSEE — When the new fifth-grade teacher at a Tallahassee school sent home the standard welcome letter, parents were surprised to hear that the teacher uses gender neutral pronouns.
That’s right. In this Canopy Oaks Elementary School class, one doesn’t say “him,” “her,” “he,” or “she.”
The teacher Mx. Bressack, (pronounced “mix”) wrote: “… my pronouns are ‘they, them, their’ instead of ‘he, his, she, hers.’ I know it takes some practice for it to feel natural,” the letter reads, “but students catch on pretty quickly.”
The story caught fire once one mom posted Bressack’s letter to a Facebook group called “Tally Moms Stay Connected” and posed the question: What would your reaction be as a parent of 9 & 10 year olds?’
Parent reaction has been divided between progressive liberal and traditional conservative parents.
But Bressack has the full support of the school’s principal Paul Lambert who says: “We support her preference in how she’s addressed, we certainly do,” he said. “I think a lot of times it might be decided that there is an agenda there, because of her preference – I can tell you her only agenda is teaching math and science at the greatest level she can.”
It’s lucky Bressack isn’t an English teacher, because even elementary age students know there are rules of grammar and one of those rules is not using a plural pronoun for a singular object.
It’s only respectful to call someone what they’d like to be called: he, she or Caitlyn.
However, no one is a they, their or a them. Those words are reserved for plural people or things.
Children need to be taught to respect people, and to have some respect for the rules of grammar!