‘First Years’ To Replace ‘Freshmen’ At Massachusetts High School
In an effort to be more inclusive to all genders, students in Easthampton, Massachusetts will cease referring to ninth grade as Freshmen. Replacing the long standing term will be First Years.
"For the purpose of class meetings and activities, including the class dues, students will be considered first years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors," the handbook states. According to Masslive, the language was suggested by students with the Gender-Sexuality Alliance, or GSA, who met with the handbook committee, which including teachers, counselors, administrators, and a school-based police officer.
School committee members decided "that the change to gender neutral language was a simple, sensible way to foster a more inclusive and equitable environment," School Committee Policy Subcommittee chairwoman Marissa Carrere told The Republican in an email.