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Fox News
Fox News
22 Apr 2023


A Missouri school district is now making its math curriculum more gender inclusive, updating word problems and other language-based math equations with "they/them" pronouns. 

As presented in a Webster Groves School District "math program evaluation" last week, non-binary people will be represented in "word and contextual" problems via the pronouns, alongside regular gendered people using he/she pronouns.

Local outlet KCRG-TV reported that during the presentation, Webster Groves Math Curriculum Coordinator Susan Bergman claimed that the inclusion of the non-binary pronouns will "help students develop their ‘mathematical identities," and move them to "see the beauty, joy, and connectedness of mathematics as a way to see, make sense of and change our world."

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Protect Trans Youth protesters

Demonstrators protest in support of rights for transgender youth. (Fox News )

The school district announced that it has decided to update the curriculum in such a way based on the feedback of students, parents and teachers who participated in a survey. 

In addition to the poll showing support for more inclusive language in math, student "empathy" interviews were included in the consideration for the update. 

The Webster Groves math evaluation presentation argued that it is a "persistent myth within math education that since ‘numbers are universal,’ math classrooms are objective and free of bias."

It added that "Research shows clearly that any space where learning occurs is neither free of bias nor resistant to oppressive systems such as racism, sexism, classism or xenophobia."

The inclusion of "they/them" pronouns will serve to lessen the existence of sexism or xenophobia in math class, so the theory goes. 

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A school classroom with desks and chairs

Empty classroom in an elementary school. (FNC)

The presentation claimed, "scholars have demonstrated the ways that mathematics socialization and mathematics identity development are critical aspects to the learning and participation of students, particularly Black students."

A database on GreatSchools.org’s shows that Webster Groves’ student body is 76% White students and 13% Black.

School board members have unanimously embraced these more inclusive word problems being implemented in their institutions, and they plan to go even further. 

In order to continue making strides with its woke curriculum updates, Webster Groves staff plans to meet with the District’s DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) director to come up with more progressive updates to curriculum.

The district will also work with "Math314," a Washington University in St. Louis mathematics program created to enhance the math courses at local K-12 schools.

A brochure for the program indicates that Math314 supports teachers to "create learning environments where all students are provided equitable access to mathematics."

Pronouns

LGBTQ person holds pins about gender pronouns on the University of Wyoming campus on August 13, 2022. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images) ((Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images))

Gabriel Hays is an associate editor for Fox News Digital.