Salem School Officials Ask For Preferred Pronouns For Incoming Pre-K Students

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A Massachusetts school district asks parents to provide their children’s preferred pronouns on its pre-kindergarten registration forms.

If parents want to enroll their kids to attend public school in the city of Salem, they must fill out a form that asks them to provide their student’s gender and preferred pronouns.

The form, used for pre-kindergarten through grade 12, offers parents three options for gender:  male, female, and nonbinary. The latter is an umbrella term that encompasses any gender identity other than male and female.

Additionally, the form gives parents four options for their child’s preferred pronouns. The available options include: “he”, “she”, “they”, and “other.”

If the parents select “other,” there is space for the parents to list their child’s preferred pronouns.




Mary Ellen Siegler of the Massachusetts Family Institute criticized the policy in an email message to NewBostonPost.

She said that pre-K students should not feel as though they were born in the wrong body.

Here is what she said, in full:


Asking about the preferred pronouns of a preschool-aged child is part of an effort to normalize the idea that children can decide what gender they are or that they may have been born in the wrong body. I raised three children. The only way a child would question their gender at such a young age is if the possibility of a transgender identification was presented to them by an adult or if they were experiencing mental distress and confusion related to trauma. The former is psychological abuse. In the latter case, the child needs compassionate care and help to align their thoughts with the reality of their biology.

The Salem school district should cease any efforts to normalize transgender identifications for children. Doing so may lead to further harm if these children eventually seek irreversible and harmful medical interventions. There is a growing number of young detransitioners sharing their tragic stories of regret about the irreparable damage done to their bodies from powerful transgender drugs and surgeries to remove healthy body parts. Many of them report the profound betrayal they feel when they realize that instead of being protected by the adults in their lives they were enabled by them to persist in a lie that has wielded tragic life-long consequences that they now must face.

Salem school officials must consider the potential harm they are doing to children by setting them up to believe the transgender lie.


Salem Public Schools serve 3,709 students, according to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; of those students, 167 are in pre-kindergarten, according to the state education agency. Additionally, five of the 3,709 students identify as non-binary, according to the agency. However, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not provide a breakdown of the number of students who identify as nonbinary by grade.

Salem, Massachusetts is a coastal city with a population of about 45,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is on the North Shore of Massachusetts, about 20 miles from Boston.

NewBostonPost could not identify instances of other districts asking for the preferred pronouns of pre-kindergarteners on student registration forms. 

Salem Public Schools superintendent Stephen Zrike could not be reached for comment on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.


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