State school now a scene of culture war
Shortly before the start of the new academic year, the German state of Saxony-Anhalt has become the scene of a culture war between genders. The ministry in charge, led by the Christian Democrats, insists on normal spelling, but the Social Democrats and the Greens are outraged.
The summer holidays are coming to an end and the new school year is about to begin in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Last year, unlike many other schools in Germany, the school was lenient towards the gender lobby and allowed institutions to change the spelling of masculine, feminine and neutral nouns – along with words that describe male or female professions – through a number of special characters, but this year the Christian Democrat’s (CDU) Education Minister Eva Feussner has decided to tighten the regulations, and
she banned this type of linguistic genderism, which first sparked a major coalition government row and then an outright culture war in the state. The education ministry cites a resolution by the German Spelling Council in justifying its decision to bar gender-related modifications in the German language.
Its coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), disagree with the CDU’s decision, while the Greens are up in arms about it.
We, the SPD, stand for equality and diversity, especially with regard to the recognition and inclusion of different sexual identities,” the Social Democrats responded on social media.
„Wir als SPD stehen für Gleichberechtigung und Vielfalt, insbesondere im Hinblick auf die Anerkennung und Einbeziehung unterschiedlicher sexueller Identitäten.“ @KatjaPaehle
— SPD-Fraktion Sachsen-Anhalt (@spd_lt_lsa) August 15, 2023
And the Greens believe that children should be introduced to these specific spelling conventions from a very young age, with which they can either express different sexual identities, or be able to speak clearer.
Bildungsministerin Feußner verrennt sich im Kulturkampf. Sie sollte sich lieber auf die Bekämpfung des anhaltenden Lehrkräftemangels konzentrieren, statt populistische Ablenkungsmanöver auf Nebenschauplätzen zu beginnen. #Bildung #ltlsa https://t.co/n7x2gEtfKu
— Grüne Fraktion LSA 🌻 (@GrueneFrakLSA) August 15, 2023
The liberal FDP party, which forms a state government with the CDU and SPD, has called for calm, pointing out that the ministry – controlled by the CDU – had only made it clear that German spelling rules were valid in schools, and that genderism was not recognised in the spelling books. However, FDP wants teachers to be able to decide for themselves how to teach grammar to children.