Young children were shown a non-binary doll called Nash in a documentary video that was used to train daycare staff in North Carolina.
In the video posted to social media, a group of four and five-year-old children are introduced by an educator identified as Maddie Piper to a non-binary doll named Nash. When asked whether he’s a boy or a girl, Maddie tells the children that Nash would reply “I’m just a kid!”
At first, one child rightly points out that “kids can be boys or girls,” before others chime in and declare that kids can be “they,” “or maybe non-binary.” The clip was part of a documentary entitled, “Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years.”
“So Nash, just like me, is non-binary,” Piper instructs the children. “So they aren’t sure if they’re a boy or a girl. So when people ask them, are you a boy or a girl, right now they just feel like saying, I’m a kid! They’re figuring it out.”
After one of the children asks, “does he like stars,” after clearly being intrigued by the red stars on the non-binary doll costume, Piper corrects them, saying “they like stars.” All of the assembled children then repeat back, “they like stars.”
“Today was fun. It was really interesting though, knowing going in like, I don’t know what questions kiddos are going to have, or what they’re going to say, which is both nerve-wracking, but also kind of exciting,” Piper said in an interview afterwardsIt’s that place of not knowing as a teacher, and just being okay with that.”
One of the assembled teachers noted that they didn’t seem perturbed by the concept of the doll being non-binary. Another teacher, identified as Veronica Reynoso, said it was a “huge testament to how much we’ve been talking about it in the classroom. You never mentioned the term non-binary. It was a child who brought that up, because it’s constantly in conversation.”
Jordan Chamberlain of the Washington Free Beacon reported that the documentary was shown to North Carolina daycare owners at a training event given by the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children.
The NCAYEC claims on its website that they work to “help promote professionalism and equity” in the field of early learning. One monthly meeting held by the NCAEYC’s Equity offers “early childhood education professionals a safe and brave space to engage in a virtual community of practice focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in early childhood education.”