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Maine primary school criticised for reading trans book to students

Maine primary school criticised for reading trans book to students

A primary school in Kittery Point, Maine, has come under fire for teaching their students on trans issues without their parents consent.

The children were read extracts from the book ‘I Am Jazz’, about the life of trans teenager Jazz Jennings, during a lesson on tolerance and acceptance.

However, some parents at the school became upset when they weren’t notified of the lesson in advance, as they find the topic ‘controversial’.

Speaking to the website of conservative pundit Sean Hannity, one of the parents wrote: ‘I feel like my thoughts, feelings and beliefs were completely ignored….My right as a parent to allow or not allow this discussion with my child was taken from me. It is very upsetting to me that I didn’t have an option at all.

‘When I spoke with the principal he was very cold about it. It’s amazing how thoughtless the school has been with this whole thing.’

The mother then claims her son started asking her if he was transgender following the lesson, adding: ‘I was taken aback by it… Being seven, once you put something in their mind they don’t forget so easily.’

However, not all parents were dismissive of the trans-positive lesson.

One parent issued a statement that read: ‘We fully support the staff of Horace Mitchell School. People in this country, parents in this country are outraged by bullying, teen suicide rates and the depression in children. The staff of Mitchell School is doing something about this. By teaching acceptance and love they are shedding a light on [LGBTI] issues.

‘LGBTQ issues should never be classified as a ‘sensitive subject’ — there is nothing sensitive about the way we are born. Blonde hair, brown hair, gay, straight or somewhere in-between, we are all people and we all need acceptance.’

Allyn Hutton, the superintendent of the local district, also supported the reading of the book – but admitted that parents should have been notified beforehand.

In a statement, she said: ‘We have a practice of if a topic is considered sensitive, parents should be informed. In this situation, that didn’t happen. 

‘The whole culture at Mitchell School is about teaching tolerance and respect. The people presenting the lesson thought [I Am Jazz] was one more piece of teaching that lesson. In retrospect, we understand that toleration is tolerating people of all opinions.’

‘I Am Jazz’ was written by Jessica Hershel and trans teenager Jazz Jennings to help educate people on trans issues by discussing Jennings’ struggles with her gender identity as a child, up to meeting with doctors and finally transitioning to female.