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Several schools in Vancouver have proposed that gender neutral pronouns should take the places of personal pronouns such as “he,” “she,” “his” and “hers.” The pronouns “xe,” “xem,” and “xyr” were suggested as alternatives to encompass all students, including transgender students.
According to the new policy, “xe” should take the place of “he” or “she,” “xem” will replace “him” or “her,” and “xyr” will take over “his” and “hers.”
According to the schools, students are not required to use the terminology, but are permitted to use the words if they choose to not identify as one specific gender. “We’re standing up for kids and making our schools safer and more inclusive,” said board member Mike Lombardi.
In addition, the Canadian schools have adopted new policies for a “gay-friendly” curriculum, in which students “have the right to dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity or gender expression.” During physical education, students may choose to participate with the gender of their choosing when activities are segregated between boys and girls.
One more shift includes a required unisex bathroom available for students.
The public greeted the changes with criticism and shouting at a school trustees meeting guarded by police.
Publication date: June 25, 2014