Opinion: Schools should teach pronouns to support students, reduce discrimination

By MARSHALL SCOTT

Trigger Warning: This article mentions suicide rates.

Every 1 in 4 LGBTQ youth use pronoun combinations outside of the gender binary construct, according to Trevorproject.org.

Newer pronouns should be taught in schools to show their importance. Nowadays, more and more people, old and young are using different pronouns than the standard she/her and he/him. It could help students feel more supported, especially if they’re not supported at home. It could help reduce discrimation and increase the respect of gender non-conforming individuals. 

Nowadays, people have been using them more than the “normal” pronouns. The news station Time says 26% of individuals identify as non-binary while 20% question if they are transgender. 

Ryleigh Fort, a student at Citrus Valley, who uses she/they/he pronouns, states, “I think that newer pronouns, such as they/them and neopronouns should be taught in school because not everyone uses the ‘regular’ she/her, he/him pronouns. It’s also helpful for people to get accustomed to using them when they’re older. Not only that, it can help people who feel trapped in the wrong body feel more comfortable and not as dysphoric.” 

Students who may not feel supported at home could feel a sense of security at school when people understand how to use their pronouns. The Trevor Project, a LGBTQ organization, says, “Affirming LGBTQ youth’s gender by using pronouns that align with their gender identity has shown to improve mental health outcomes.” 

Pronoun pin that was obtained in the beginning of the school year. (MARSHAL SCOTT/ Ethic News photo)

When people intentionally misgender someone it can be very hurtful to a person’s mental health, especially if they’re already struggling. An act as simple as asking for someone’s pronouns and respecting their pronouns could potentially save someone’s life.

According to the Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, “TGNB (Transgender and Gender Non-Binary) youth who reported having their pronoun respected by all or most of the people in the lives attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected.”

By having schools teaching students about newer pronouns, the rates of suicide, discrimation to one’s gender identiy and much more could be dropped immensely. Starting as young as first grade would be an appropriate age to teach kids about pronouns. Having just a lesson on the pronouns could be using, whether it being neopronouns, or the standard pronouns would help people who may not feel connected to their assigned sex at birth.

Pronouns such as they/them, it/its, xe/xem and many more should be a part of schools curriculums to ensure the students understand the importance. By doing so students would feel like they’re understood, and could potentially be excited to go to school without having to worry about not being accepted.

Correction: The last three paragraphs were inadvertently not included in the original publishing of this article at 2:45 pm on Nov. 9. The correction was made at 5:25 pm to include the full original article, with the intended last three paragraphs included.

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