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To think to to put parents instead of Father and Mother would be better

(55 Posts)
Northernlurker Fri 05-Jun-09 16:19:51

on the home - school agreement we've just receieved for dd1's new school.

At the bottom you have to sign to say you will be good support the school. There are two spaces one (the top one) for father's signature, the lower one for mother's signature.

Now I'm not too happy with the ordering of the signatures (why does father come first? Alpahabetical or something more sinister and patriarchal? grin) but what's really bugging me is the assumption that every child has one father and one mother.

What about gay and lesbian parents? What about the family where the step-parent is the present one and the biological parent lives on the other side of the world? What about the family with a biological parent who lives in Scotland so it will be the step-parent doing all the day to day stuff? What about the child whose parents are dead and who lives with grandparents or friends?

Am I being unreasonable to think they should just put parents/guardians?

TheProfiteroleThief Fri 05-Jun-09 16:21:03

ours says parents/carers
[right-on emo]

BellaBear Fri 05-Jun-09 16:21:29

Our school generally puts parent/guardian/carer

we have quite a few children in the situations you describe, plus foster parents

edam Fri 05-Jun-09 16:22:15

I think you are right. And 'Father/Mother' is quite interesting phrasing - is this a prep school?

Clearly not that posh or it would be 'Pater/Mater'. grin

rasputin Fri 05-Jun-09 16:23:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Northernlurker Fri 05-Jun-09 16:28:46

It's a state comprehensive! Father/Mother - I could barely believe my eyes! I'm going to have to say something to them about inclusive language aren't I? <<wimp emoticon>>

Littlepurpleprincess Fri 05-Jun-09 16:37:34

They probably should put Parent/carer BUT does it matter? The world won't end, it's a school letter FFS. Get over it.

Northernlurker Fri 05-Jun-09 16:43:01

LPP - doesn't matter to me a bit - because we have a father and a mother both living in this house who can sign (think I'll make dh wait and I'll sign first so as to redress the power balance disturbed by his name being ABOVE mine wink grin)

But I imagine there are quite a lot of people to whom it will matter, and who won't feel catered for by that language and as it so easily fixed I think it should be.

Don't worry - I won't lose sleep over it!

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 05-Jun-09 16:43:41

That is very odd in this day and age.

Maybe papers prepared by elderly school secretary who will also peer disapprovingly over glasses at unmarried parents?

RumourOfAHurricane Fri 05-Jun-09 16:47:57

Message withdrawn

Littlepurpleprincess Fri 05-Jun-09 16:58:14

That was my point. I would put parent/Carer but I would not be offended by a letter that said mother/father and I grew up without my dad around much. I just doesn't matter. Lifes to short! There are bigger things in the world etc....

If you choose to be offended by such small things you are setting yourself up to be unhappy. Let it go.

Noonki Fri 05-Jun-09 17:02:41

I think it is quite a big deal given that at DSS class there are three children with gay parents and 5 that I know of who live with a step parent.

edam Fri 05-Jun-09 17:14:19

LPP - just because something doesn't happen to matter to you, doesn't mean no-one else is allowed to care about it.

londonone Fri 05-Jun-09 17:17:09

It's not a big deal but people can make it a big deal.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 05-Jun-09 17:18:43

Yes, it should say parent/carer - foster daughter would be happier with that and not feel uncomfortable. I hate having to explain (like yesterday) that I'm not Mrs so-and-so in front of a room full of strangers at the dentist all looking at foster dd pityingly.

StealthPolarBear Fri 05-Jun-09 17:19:13

sign where it says Father - go on I dare you!

StealthPolarBear Fri 05-Jun-09 17:19:49

even when I was at school the term was "parent or guardian"
and that was back when we had quills

SoupDragon Fri 05-Jun-09 17:22:57

People can get worked up about the most ridiculous things.

And you can't put parents or guardians in case they have only one.

Northernlurker Fri 05-Jun-09 17:23:07

SPB - not sure I'm that rebellious! I think we will strike it through and replace with 'parents' and sign on the same line though grin
It may seem like 'overthinking' but that's rather the point - to me it is 'overthinking it' or whatnot because it doesn't conflict with my situation. If it does conflict with your situation then I think it's potentially offensive and I reserve the right to be a little bit bothered about stuff even when it isn't my house burning down iyswim.

StealthPolarBear Fri 05-Jun-09 17:44:15

But you can put parent(s)/guardian(s)

londonone Fri 05-Jun-09 17:46:43

Is the intention to be offensive, clearly not. Therefore IMO people who choose to take offence ABU.

StealthPolarBear Fri 05-Jun-09 17:48:38

does that apply to racist terms? If the person isn't aware they could be causing offence?

Kimi Fri 05-Jun-09 17:49:48

I got hacked off on the anti natal forms it had partner, I crossed it out and wrote HUSBAND in big red letters

londonone Fri 05-Jun-09 17:56:42

SPB - I think it does to a certain degree if someone uses a term in ignorance and does not intend offence then offence shouldn't be taken. By all means advise that person why it is offensive and explain why they shouldn't use it but to choose to take a=offence where none is meant strikes me as self indulgent. I would not suggest that this is in any way comparable though as the vast majority of children have a mother and/or father figure or someone acting in that capacity ad imo you would have to choose to make a fuss about this. As a teacher I always talk about "your mums and dads or grown ups who look after you" but I like to think that if I failed to be as inclusive on one occasion people wouldn't start complaining.

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 05-Jun-09 17:58:11

Could've meant birth partner though kimi - a lot of people have friends or family with them rather than "life partner" grin

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