Renewed calls to mandate the use of preferred pronouns for all New Zealand teachers, regardless of their personal views, regardless of the student's parents' views, and regardless of schools with special character status, raises the question: Who knows what your child needs in the classroom? Their teachers and principals or bureaucrats and activists?
There may be cases where using the preferred pronouns of students is the respectful, caring option. There may be cases where it is not. Those calling for the Teaching Council to insert itself into the conversation and require one response deny any nuance in the issue. This issue is divisive and applying a one-size-fits-all approach is likely to end in disputes and impinging on speech rights.
Teachers, principals, and parents should be the ones who work with the student to find the best path forward.
Compelling the use of preferred pronouns forces teachers into an ideological position, possibly requiring them to speak against their conscience, and may be inappropriate or harmful for the child.
We're calling on the Teaching Council to ensure teachers and principals retain discretion over the use of preferred pronouns, not bureaucrats and activists.
Sign our petition below: