New Florida math teacher sends ‘gender-neutral’ request to fifth grade parents, gets an earful back

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Good morning “Mx. Bressack.”

Not Mr. Not Mrs., but Mx., as in ‘Mix.’

That’s how incoming fifth graders at Tallahassee’s Canopy Oaks Elementary are expected to address their new math and science teacher, the ‘gender-neutral’ Chloe Bressack, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

As if pre-middle-school weren’t confusing enough!

In a note to parents entitled “About Mx. Bressack” specifying her request to use the gender-neutral pronouns, Bressack wrote, “… my pronouns are ‘they, them, their’ instead of ‘he, his, she, hers.’ I know it takes some practice for it to feel natural, but students catch on pretty quickly.”

Predictably, some parents were alarmed.

The closed Facebook group “Tally Moms Stay Connected” became a sort of battleground between parents upset at the request and others who support Bressack, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. One parent described the request and ended with the question, “What would your reaction be as a parent of 9 & 10 year olds?”

School administrators are in full support. Principle Paul Lambert said, “We support her preference in how she’s addressed, we certainly do,” Lambert told the Tallahassee Democrat. “I think a lot of times it might be decided that there is an agenda there, because of her preference — I can tell you her only agenda is teaching math and science at the greatest level she can.”

Lambert did acknowledge some concern from parents.

“There has been some (contact from concerned parents), the thing that has brought good understanding is, it’s not a preference that’s being applied to anyone other than the teacher.”

In other words, Bressack does refer to students by their gender-specific pronouns “just like every other classroom in our building.”

Bressack wrote in an email to the democrat after declining an interview, “I feel very lucky to be teaching at Canopy Oaks, and I look forward to working with my students this year.”

Superintendent Rocky Hanna sent a statement to the Democrat describing his position:

“According to Principal Lambert, the teacher addresses students daily by using the pronouns he, she, him and her. The teacher also uses ma’am and sir when responding to students. As a personal preference, however, the teacher simply prefers to be referred to in gender neutral terms as that of a coach. I can assure you that teachers in our district will not be allowed to use their influence in the classroom to advance any personal belief or political agenda. At this time, I do not believe that is the case in this instance.”

None of the statements, however, seem to have addressed Bressack’s qualifications as a science or even a math teacher. After all, should anyone who can’t correctly count the TWO actual scientific genders in the natural world be teaching anyone’s children math or science?

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

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