TORONTO - Durham Region’s public school board has called in the language police.
Sweeping new guidelines introduced to Durham District School Board teachers and staff this fall intend to police how teachers speak to their students, parents and each other.
The 19-page document instructs teachers not to tell racist jokes in the classroom, cut out all references to “man” and asks them not to call someone hailing from Korea, Korean.
“Because it is a guideline there are no specific sanctions,” said board spokesman Andrea Pidwerbecki. “We haven’t had a single complaint. I think people have found it to be helpful.”
The guideline was developed in response to a provincial equity and inclusive education policy introduced in 2009. That document was created to help reduce gender, race and sexual orientation-based discrimination.
But Durham Region’s guidelines get very specific with for teachers.
“Avoid sexist, racist, related jokes homophobic/transphobic, and/or religious stories, jokes, etc.,” the guidelines say, adding. “Avoid statements or labels that convey prejudice.”
When referring to racial or cultural groups the guideline tells teachers to avoid the terms Pakistani, Afghan, Korean, Indian or Chinese. Instead, use the appropriate country name, “a person from Pakistan” the guideline says.
Durham Region teachers given language guidelines | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun