New York, NY – A private school in Manhattan wants its school community to stop using the potentially offensive words “mom” and “dad.”
Grace Church School has issued a 12-page “Grace Inclusive Language Guide” that provides its staff and school community with a list of words that are not acceptable and suggestions for alternative words that should be used, NBC News reported.
The guide recommends that everyone stop using potentially-offensive terms like “mom” and “dad” because they make assumptions about the home lives of children.
Instead, Grace Church School suggests alternative language such as “grown-ups,” “folks,” “family,” or guardians, according to Fox News.
The private school’s guide explained “families are formed and structured in many ways. At Grace Church School, we use inclusive language that reflects this diversity. It’s important to refrain from making assumptions about who kids live with, who cares for them, whether they sleep in the same place every night, whether they see their parents, etc.”
Grace Church School’s inclusive-language guide also discouraged the usage of the words “boys” and “girls,” WLNY reported.
School officials have defended the guidebook that critics have complained is a knee-jerk “woke” reaction to currents events.
“We understand the power of language both to include and to cause alienation,” Grace Church School’s Head of School George P. Davison told FOX News in a statement.
“We also know that it is our job to give community members resources to allow them to make informed and generous choices,” Davidson continued. “If the boorish ‘cancel culture’ press wants to condemn us a newly dubbed ‘Woke Noho’ school of politeness, dignity and respect, then I embrace it, and I hope you will too.”
The school administrator told WLNY that the Grace Church School is not trying to be the “word police.”
“We’re not telling people not to call their parents mom and dad. That’s the silliest thing anybody ever came up with,” Davison said. “And it’s not even a ‘word police.’ It is rather a guide to inclusive language, if you want to use it.”’
He claimed the school posted the inclusive-language guide in September of 2020 because teachers and parents had requested it, according to WLNY.
“We have been trying to help families find the right words for years and this was designed as an aid to that process,” Davidson told NBC News in an email.
“Families come in many shapes and sizes and always have,” he continued. “The recommendation to use the formal of ‘your grown-ups’ or ‘adults’ when you don’t know is a way of ensuring that you do not needlessly hurt or alienate before you do. This is a sign of politeness and respect that we have subscribed to for decades.”
Grace Church School’s language guide also suggested replacing the word “minority” with “person of color,” NBC News reported.
And the private, Episcopal, faith-based school also advised that the words “Merry Christmas” should be replaced with “Have a good break.”
The guide also asked the school community to avoid assumptions about a person’s sexual orientation, NBC News reported.
“People get to love who they want to love,” the guide read. “Avoid making assumptions about how adults identify themselves in the present or how children might identify themselves in the future. Sexuality can be fluid along the course of a person’s life.”
Grace Church School serves students from kindergarten through 12th grade and has two campuses in downtown Manhattan, NBC News reported.
Tuition for the 2020-2021 school year was $57,330.