Teachers in Ireland have been ordered to tell pupils what their preferred pronouns are, “he” or “she” for instance, upon meeting them for the first time.
The instruction was published in a document penned by the National Council For Curriculum And Assessment (NCCA), which is run by the Irish Department of Education.
In the document, which centres on how to successfully teach Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE), teachers are told that they should focus on using gender-neutral language at all times and act in a manner that reflects “the fluidity of gender and sexuality”.
“When you greet your students for the first time, announce your name and pronouns (eg ‘My name is Ms Murphy and my pronouns are ‘she/her’),” the document reads.
“This signals that you are cognisant and respectful of the fact that not everyone will use the pronouns that people expect or the name and pronouns that are on official records,” it adds.
Educators are also told to teach in a way that acknowledges sexual, economic and racial diversity within the classroom and if there is none, to “imagine” that there is.
“If a class appears to be relatively homogenous (for example, in terms of ethnicity, socioeconomic background, etc), teach your lesson while imagining a more diverse environment,” the NCCA tells teachers, adding that such efforts at make-believe will serve as a “safeguard against slipping into ‘othering’ language”.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “othering” is defined as: “The act of treating someone as though they are not part of a group and are different in some way.”
Discovered by local news outlet Gript Media, the document serves as another example of the Irish Government’s push to make education in the country “more progressive”.
Officials on the island have been keen to teach pupils about homosexuality and transgender ideology at both primary and secondary schools.
One text published in July revealed the state’s intention to teach high-school teenagers about “LGBTQ+ identities”, as well as their “white privilege”.
The development has prompted concern from both parents and as school bodies, although senior ministers have insisted that the reforms will be pushed through.
“Trans people exist, they’ve always existed, and I think it makes more sense in schools to just inform children about the world around them,” Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar declared earlier this year.
Simon Harris, another senior minister, also backed the changes, describing them as being based on the “facts” and the “science”.