School News - Singapore American School

School News - Singapore American School

Suhana Singh Madia, an 11th grade student at Singapore American School contacted AAIE recently about an issue she deeply cares about - the importance of gender-neutral language in promoting gender equality. Suhana has followed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and was heartened to see a specific goal (SDG 5) dedicated to Gender Equality. She noted the guidelines on gender-neutral language adopted by the United Nations and other organizations, acknowledging the important role language plays in shaping social and cultural attitudes. She then went on to say that academic institutions and premier institutions such as Penn State have followed Yale and Cornell in replacing "Freshman" and other similar terms with gender-neutral alternatives.

Suhana was active in regard to this work in her own school. Upon bringing the use of the term "Freshman" to the attention of Singapore American School's leadership, they kindly agreed to make the change and replace the term with a gender-neutral alternative such as "9th grade student". Though promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is a common goal of American schools across the world, Suhana believes that the term "Freshman" continues to be used widely. She is seeking our support to encourage American schools to follow the example of the Singapore American School and replace the term "Freshman" with gender-neutral alternatives. She also included a short presentation highlighting her research on the subject.

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