Massachusetts high school drops term ‘freshman’ to be gender inclusive

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EASTHAMPTON, Ma. – For years, ninth graders have typically been called freshmen, but one Massachusetts high school will stop using the term, WBZ reports.

Easthampton High School will instead call the students “first years,” in an effort to be more gender-inclusive.

“For the purpose of class meetings and activities, including the class dues, students will be considered first years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors,” the high school wrote in in their handbook.

The new term was suggested by students with the school’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA), according to MassLive.

It is a “simple, sensible way to foster a more inclusive and equitable environment, and was in concert with the many transformations underway at our district,” Marissa Carrere, the school committee policy subcommittee chairwoman, Marissa Carrere, said.

The school said students will not be banned from using the term freshmen, but hopes to create awareness about gender equality.

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