New York City schools go gender-neutral with use of ‘they’ in report forms

The gender-neutral pronoun, “they,” is a new option on the online form used by the NYC public school system to record, describe and grade students’ reports. The Daily Beast reports that the city system has been extending and tweaking the form for the past couple of years, and are finally ready to unveil the new entry after concluding that to do so would not increase any workload.

“I would say we’re very excited,” Greg Sims, the head of student information systems for the New York City school system, told the Daily Beast. “We’ve been working with the Department of Education for the past few years to try to figure out what the next steps are going to be with the English language arts (ELA) section.” The spaces designated for students to record their report do not show up in the official online portal. Instead, parents and guardians are using the offline form — or doctors’ appointments and other quick mechanisms — to submit each student’s report.

Sims said that changing the online form would not impact or add any workload to the staff, and that the option to record the gender of students is welcomed. When the new system started in 2017, then-Ed. Commissioner Richard Carranza noted that change could be influenced by court rulings in cases like the Laura and John Doe v. York City Schools and Doe v. Lee.

The Daily Beast reports that the Omicron variant, which is short for One and Mixed, is a youth-friendly “look and feel” for the form to reflect more gender fluid, non-binary, or trans students. According to New York magazine, the Omicron form will permit students to assign themselves and others as both male and female, or both male and of intersex or gender non-binary identities.

Read the full story at The Daily Beast.


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