Our new pronoun policy

Our newspaper staff has decided to use individual’s preferred pronouns by asking them whether they would like to be addressed as she, he, or they.

Earlier this year, Arlington Public Schools (APS) announced a new Policy Implementation Procedure (PIP) that would, among other things, establish each student’s right to be referred to by the pronoun of their choice. This decision, while divisive in some parts of the community, was a step forward for equal treatment in APS.

The new PIP was covered in our September issue, both through a news story and an editorial. As a staff, we recognized the conflict stemming from this new procedure but still saw it as a good and fair measure. When the school administration approached us in an effort to confirm our policy or lack thereof regarding the use of students’ pronouns in the Crossed Sabres, we realized that we had our own decision to make. At the time, we had no policy on the use of preferred versus assigned pronouns.

After a discussion amongst the members of the editorial board, we settled on what would be the newspaper’s pronoun policy. We chose to follow the Associated Press Stylebook, the standard for journalistic style, in using an individual’s preferred pronouns. This decision, supported by industry standards and our own morals, has been implemented in our publication. Moving forwards, the pronouns he, she and they will be used by our staff in accordance with the subject’s preference.

We hope that our decision to implement this policy helps to establish a safe, welcoming community at the school. It is our job as journalists to cover the community in an impartial, fair way, and we believe that this policy will help us to accomplish that mission. We thank you for reading our newspaper and welcome you to get involved by submitting a letter to the editor or considering joining our staff during the next school year.