Parents angry: K-3 classes read story about transgender child without their permission

“The whole culture at Mitchell School is about teaching tolerance and respect.” So said Superintendent of Kittery (Maine) Schools Allyn Hutton last Friday after it was brought to her attention that 20 of the 22 classes in the school were read a story about a young child “with a boy’s body but a girl’s brain” without first notifying parents.

That was the good news for those who believe that gender dysphoria is not a form of mental illness. The bad news was that Hutton’s comments were couched in the larger context that the school had erred in not allowing parents to opt their children out of the reading:

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 [the book] was one more piece of teaching that lesson. In retrospect, we understand that toleration is tolerating people of all opinions.

The book in question is  “I Am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. The Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald traces the origin of the kerfuffle back to one angry mother who contacted Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity about the reading of the book without parental consent.

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I am Jazz big
The paper gives equal time to a statement written by the father of a transgender child in the Kittery school system, who asked to remain anonymous to protect the child’s identity:

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 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning) issues. Reading ‘I Am Jazz’ by Jazz Jennings to students is a way of showing them that gender can be more complicated than just boys and girls. Some people are born somewhere in between. 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.

It is worth noting that gender dysphoria was known as “gender identity disorder” until the release in 2012 of the controversial fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” or DSM V. In an article on this groundbreaking change, the gay publication Advocate freely acknowledges that the removal of the stigma disorder followed years of “lobbying by gay rights advocates.” The term lobbying is defined as “the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies.” In other words, the reclassification, like so many other changes to the heavily maligned DSM V, was done for political reasons.

Once again the left, which professes alone to champion science, demonstrates its total ignorance on the topic.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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