Schools across the pond in Great Britain have outraged parents by asking students to stop referring to their parents as “mom” and “dad.”
The strange edict from headteachers at schools across Brighton was instituted because school workers don’t want to exclude any families that are “non-traditional.” Whether that means a child has two moms, two dads, a non-binary parent, or no parents at all, the schools want the students to simply use the term “grownups” to identify their parents or guardians.
The four schools that are using the new language have confused children and parents. Although the schools simply want to protect diverse family groups, they are making it complicated for children who refer to their parents as “mom” and “dad.”
At one of the schools that are making the change, St Luke’s Primary School in Brighton, the school website was updated to include new language about the change.
“We have an Equalities Language Code for staff (e.g., to value all families, we never refer to ‘mums and dads’ and instead talk about ‘grownups’).”
Another school that is making the change, Elm Grove Primary School, believes that its Equalities Statement will make it better for children who are growing up in non-traditional families. Their statement is as follows:
“We try to talk about our ‘grownups’ rather than our ‘mums and dads’ to acknowledge the different family groupings our pupils live in.”
Brighton’s Carlton Hill Primary School also plans to cancel the words “mom” and “dad,” and their website was updated to state the following: “We try to talk about our ‘grownups’ rather than our ‘mums and dads’ to acknowledge the different family groupings our pupils live in.”
Another school, Saltdean Primary, updated its Equality and Diversity Policy to the following: “Language- we use the terms parents/carers rather than ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ as we recognize that our families are made up of many different people. When children start at Saltdean, they discuss and share what makes a family for them. This allows children to see different family dynamics than their own but also helps them to recognize that it is the relationships that make a family.”
Meanwhile, parents are furious with the change. One outraged adult spoke to Daily Mail about it, saying: “It’s very confusing for us adults, never mind the kids. They just don’t understand why the teachers can’t call their mums or dads, mum or dad? I know the schools are trying to take into account the different kinds of families pupils may come from, but the majority have a mum or dad, regardless of if they are together or not. So why can’t staff just keep it simple for the kids and call their parents what they are; mum or dad?”
Another parent said, “In trying to be more inclusive, the schools are forgetting about mum and dad, the most important people in a kid’s life. This is just madness. Where will it stop?”
Nevertheless, the schools defend their decision to use the word “grownups” instead of “mom” or “dad” because there are more and more students being raised by adults other than their biological parents.