Adapted from Language Values At Bank Street and the Glossary Pilot
Grace Church School, a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade Episcopal church school in Manhattan, New York, is encouraging its students to be language inclusive by using the Grace Inclusive Language Guide. Below is the overview and the pdf file of the guide. The overview of the guide below will give you an idea of just how “woke” this school is.
Grace Church School believes that Kindergarteners must understand when we say “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentlemen,” that it’s harmful to the bedrock of our society. Children must learn to say “people, folks, friends, or readers.” The guide says that ” for folks all along the gender spectrum, using the right pronouns can be affirming to their gender identity, or on the flip side can be detrimental if they are misgendered.”
“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.” The guide states that “we actively try to under notions of a ‘typical’ or ‘normal’ family structure” saying that “each family is unique.”
Grace Church School also provides Antiracism Resources which include not only the Grace Inclusive Language Guide, but also Links to the Black Lives Matter content Libguide: Resources for Black Lives Matter Movement. Students also travel to China, but have not yet visited the Uyghur internment camps.
The goal of this guide is to provide the community with more inclusive language that is aligned with the mission of Grace Church School. While we recognize hateful language that promotes racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination are already addressed in our school handbooks, we also recognize that we can do more than ban hateful language; we can use language to create welcoming and inclusive spaces. This guide addresses ways we can remove harmful assumptions from the way we interact with each other.
We know this guide is not exhaustive, and language is constantly evolving. Polite and thoughtful questions are typically the best way to get accurate information rather than basing decisions on assumptions. Be aware that people may not always welcome questions, and they are not obligated to respond.