‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ Are Now ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’ On Some Massachusetts Public School Registration Forms

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2022/06/06/mother-and-father-are-now-parent-1-and-parent-2-on-some-massachusetts-public-school-registration-forms/

If you fill out a form to enroll your child in a new school in Massachusetts, you might not see a spot to put the contact information for the mother or father.

That’s because many of the public school districts across the Commonwealth have abandoned the terms “mother” and “father” on these forms.

Instead, they go with a gender-neutral option:  Parent 1 and Parent 2.

On the Malden Public Schools student registration form, the terms “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” appear in the “Family Information” section. The section asks for the address, email address, cell phone number, and work telephone number for each parent.

Malden Public Schools superintendent Ligia Noriega-Murphy told NewBostonPost in an email message that “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” aren’t her preferred terms.

“I believe that probably ‘Caregiver 1’ and ‘Caregiver 2’ might apply to more people as some students do not have parents,” she wrote.

Malden has been using the terms “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” since the 2020-2021 school year; Noriega Murphy took over as the school district’s superintendent in July 2021.

The student registration form for the Central Berkshire Regional School District is similar to Malden’s. The rural western Massachusetts district serves the towns of Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington, Becket, Cummington, and Windsor.

It asks for the same family information as the form in Malden, but also asks for the “Relationship to child” for Parent 1 and Parent 2 as well as their military status.

Central Berkshire has been using the form since the 2017-2018 school year.

Meanwhile, the formatting is slightly different for kindergarten registration in Wareham Public Schools. There, the school district forms use “Parent 1/Guardian” and “Parent 2/Guardian.” Unlike the other forms previously mentioned, this form also asks for each parent’s occupation.

Like the Central Berkshire form, the Wareham form asks for the relationship to the child for Parent 1 and Parent 2 — specifically, if the parent is the mother or the father of the child.

Wareham has been using the form since the 2021-2022 school year.

Under the “Family Information” section of the student registration form for Scituate Public Schools, “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” also appear; they’re listed as “Parent 1/Guardian” and “Parent 2/Guardian.”

This form, unlike other forms, has a check box to indicate if Parent 1 and Parent 2 have permission to pick up the child and if the parent has legal custody of the child. 

Scituate has been using this form since the 2018-2019 school year.

The use of “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” has been the subject of controversy in Europe in recent years. In France, public schools have been using the terms instead of mother and father since 2019, something conservatives in the country oppose.  And in Italy, the country replaced mother and father with these gender-neutral terms on its national identification cards for children under 14 years old in 2020.

Some state government forms in Massachusetts also use the terms “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.” They appear on the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records form for registering at-home births; the Massachusetts Court System’s Juvenile Court Confidential Information Sheet; the petition to Massachusetts Probate and Family Court to resign as guardian of a minor; and the form to apply for state-subsidized child care from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, as NewBostonPost has previously reported.

The superintendents of the school districts in Central Berkshire, Wareham, and Scituate could not be reached for comment on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. 


New to NewBostonPost?  Conservative media is hard to find in Massachusetts.  But you’ve found it.  Now dip your toe in the water for two bucks — $2 for two months.  And join the real revolution.