An important part of school is helping kids prepare for college, careers, and survival in the real world, but one Texas school seems to think only boys need that important information.
A Frisco elementary school — yes, the sexism is starting earlier and earlier — sent home a newsletter this week informing parents that fourth and fifth grade students would be split into groups by sex for important lessons with the guidance counselor. During these classes, the boys will do college prep and career exploration, learn “how to survive in the real world,” and talk about how to manage their future salaries and living expenses.
The girls? Well, they’ll have a series of seminars called “Girl Talk,” in which they’ll discuss things like friendship and whether or not it’s possible that they have too much confidence.
No, seriously. This is a real thing. Look at this newsletter:
Outraged parents and caregivers tweeted photos of the newsletter and shared it on Facebook, where it quickly grabbed the attention of local news affiliates. One of them spoke with Frisco ISD spokeswoman Megan Youker, who tried to downplay the newsletter, saying it was “only a snapshot” of what the guidance counselor had planned and shouldn’t have been sent out in the first place. Wrote Youker in an email to WFAA:
“It was the intention all along that the students would get the same lessons, and by the time the lessons started in the first week of September, it was already decided to teach the college and career lesson to both boys and girls in the same month due to [the school’s] ‘College Week’ being in September. The newsletter had not been adjusted accordingly.”
The school principal has since sent out a revised lesson plan showing that the girls will learn the same things as the boys. Oddly enough, the boys still will not be having “boy talk” and learning the intricacies of being BFFs and how to question whether or not they have too much self esteem.
As the mom of both a girl and boy, I have to wonder when we’re going to be done with this garbage. When can we just start treating kids equally, regardless of what private parts they have? Girls and boys both care about interpersonal relationships in fourth and fifth grade. They both need college prep and to start figuring out how to handle real life responsibilities. And why on earth would we ask a child of any sex whether or they not they have too much confidence? They’re about to hit puberty. They should have “extra confidence vitamins” they can take every morning with breakfast just to prepare themselves.
The school may have corrected the lesson plans, but what was scheduled in the first place doesn’t just go away. They, like so many others, are enforcing damaging gender stereotypes from a young age and it needs to stop. It’s pretty damn hard to be a confident young woman when only boys get to learn vital life skills.