Primary School Bans ‘Sexist’ Phrases Like ‘Good Morning Boys And Girls’ And ‘Let’s Go, Guys’

Primary School Phrases

A primary school in Birmingham has banned ‘sexist’ phrases like ‘good morning boys and girls’ and ‘let’s go, guys’.

Headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson wants to be rid of the terms, which she believes are ‘damaging’ and used to create ‘fear,’ and is encouraging pupils to flag teachers who use them. 

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, she said: Fast forward a little bit to when the children are older just to see why this is so important because it’s a tiny part of a huge jigsaw.

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Nana Akua
Nana Akua says the primary school phrases ban is ‘absolutely ridiculous. Credit: ITV

“We’ve seen in the last year the biggest ever rise in child abuse, in grooming, and if our boys and girls grow up and in school we don’t challenge this sexist language and boys are told, ‘man up,’ ‘grow a pair,’ ‘don’t cry,’ ‘boys don’t cry’ – it’s very damaging for them and abusers later on potentially, or bullies, people they walk past on the way home from school – will also use this fear. 

“And fear is the biggest weapon that abusers have and if boys are told, ‘boys aren’t afraid,’ ‘boys don’t get scared,’ ‘boys don’t talk about their feelings,’ then where are they going to go when they are afraid and they are frightened?”

However, the decision has caused quite the debate and even broadcaster Nana Akua has dubbed the move ‘absolutely ridiculous’. 

She argued: “To be honest, I’d be very worried if this woman was teaching my kids.

“What I think we’re doing here is dissecting language in the most clinical form and then creating a generation of wallflower kids who are listening for an offence. 

“I go to schools and I lecture in schools and I talk to the kids – can you imagine if I went to her school and said, ‘good morning guys’?

“It is getting to the point where we are losing a grip here. We need to be looking at the context of language and that’s what I’ll be teaching my children. 

“To say ‘good morning guys’ if you’re actually seriously picking that apart then I feel that perhaps your energy is in the wrong place. 

“Really we should be teaching kids the context of language and how to use language that is non offensive. 

“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?”

Credit: Pexel

Taking to Twitter, people shared their agreement with Akua. 

One user commented: “Why don’t you just teach them to be kind – to themselves and others?

“This woman is going to destroy young people’s minds and confuse them. Stop projecting your insecurities on them.”

Another added: “I’d quite like school to teach my kids how 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.”

But some parents were in agreement with the headteacher. 

Defending her decision, a person wrote: “Actually, she’s right. I’m an academic and I’ve used ‘hi guys’ and ‘hi folks’ and I’ve never considered this before. So I will now make more of an effort to use folks from now on. As we get older, we do segment based on this.

“We as adults can readjust our behaviour and begin to include contextual empathy in our language.”

Featured Image Credit: Pexel & ITV

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a Media & Communications graduate from Birmingham City University.