The Pennsylvania Department of Education website lists “ne, ve, ze/zie and xe” as gender-neutral pronouns that some students may prefer and advises teachers to ask before making false assumptions about someone’s gender identity.
A page on the education department website, titled, “Creating Gender-Inclusive Schools and Classrooms,” includes a section about “preferred personal pronouns.”
“In addition to the traditional pronouns (he/him, she/her, they), some people prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns, such as ne, ve, ze/zie and xe,” the webpage reads. “If you don’t know a student’s preferred personal pronoun, it’s always best to ask.”
The webpage also defines “binary gender” as the “faulty concept that there are only two genders: male and female.”
The definitions on the education department website were cited from a 2013 article by Carrie Kilman called “The Gender Spectrum,” which claims that “some kids know their gender identities and birth sexes don’t match almost as soon as they begin to talk” and that kids are capable of identifying as gender-fluid as young as 3.
“This article shares research and insights on how gender identity differs from biological sex, and how educators can help support students who are gender non-conforming or gender expansive,” the PDE website says about Kilman’s article.
The education department webpage, which is intended as a resource guide for educators, also includes a lesson guide for teachers to host a “gender-neutral day” in their classrooms for grades 3-12.
The guide says that as part of the activity, students should pick two to three ways they will reject gender stereotypes for the day, and the teacher should make specific commitments to challenge gender norms in the classroom.
“This is part of a national effort in schools to ‘break the binary’ by confusing young children about biological sex and indoctrinating them into believing that gender is a spectrum,” Erika Sanzi, director of outreach for Parents Defending Education, said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital on Monday.
“The Department of Education should delete these ideology based resources from their website and anyone teaching gender fluidity to 3 year olds does not belong in a classroom,” she said.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education defended the webpage in a statement Tuesday to Fox News Digital.
“The children who attend our schools represent the diverse backgrounds and cultures of our commonwealth, and that includes Pennsylvanians with various gender identities and expression,” wrote communications director Casey Smith. “It is incumbent upon us to support ALL learners, and make them ALL feel welcome in their schools and communities. This commonwealth was founded on the principles of inclusion and belonging, and we must ensure that we continue to make our neighbors feel safe. The equity, inclusion and belonging (EIB) resources we are providing to schools are optional supports that they can use to foster a sense of belonging in their school.”
“The Wolf Administration supports equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts in every school, and one way we can better serve our learners is by providing resources so that schools can support students who come from all walks of life,” Smith added.