Pupils should forget about using “Mr.” and “Mrs.” and refer to staff as “teacher,” according to Dr. Elly Barnes, the chief executive of the Educate & Celebrate charity, The Telegraph reported on Monday.
In a 90-minute lecture organized by the National Education Union (NEU), Barnes, a prominent LGBTQ activist, told teachers they should move to adopt a “gender-free model” which includes dropping established pronouns.
Barnes told the webinar, called ‘Getting the Language Right for 2022’, that terms such as “boys,” “girls,” “son,” and “mother” should be dropped and replaced with the gender-neutral words “pupils,” “students,” “child,” and “parent.”
Delving deeper, the Educate & Celebrate boss said staff should be referred to as “teacher” or “headteacher” followed by their surname, dispensing with the usual “Mr.” or “Mrs.”
Barnes, who says she’s worked with trans kids as young as three, claimed that the “gender-free model” was “working very well in a lot of schools we are working with.”
One attendee did register their concern with Barnes’ proposal, noting that terms like “sir” or “miss” are used to get a teacher’s attention, and that teachers don’t take offense to such terms.
In clips seen by The Telegraph, Barnes even recommends making uniforms “gender-free.”
The charity has previously received funding from the Department for Education (DfE) and has been awarded government contracts. According to their website, one webinar session for unions cost £400 ($542).
Barnes’ charity also charges £1,800 ($2,438) for a diversity program and tells staff how they can achieve gold, silver or bronze ratings.