Things could get rocky tonight at the Rocklin Charter School Board meeting. The Board will take up the issue of whether or not the district can or should continue to read a book about being transgender to a kindergarten classroom. At issue is the book, I am Jazz, a biography of a now teenager who protested her birth gender as early as the age of two. Jazz was born a boy and had since taken step to correct her gender assignment. The story of her life and transformation is highlighted in the book. The author Jazz Jennings also has a reality tv show which highlights her life in transition.
After a teacher read the book to her Kindergarten class, parents became enraged and requested that the book be banned or their child moved out the classroom. Over 1000 parents are expected to show up to tonight’s board meeting to speak on the matter.
I hate to be a spoiler to parents all over the world but guess what? School is where kids get all of their information as well as misinformation. Isn’t it better to get the right information versus rumors and horror stories? I will use the example of my period. When I was in the 3rd grade, I discovered from my friends at school that one day I would start bleeding to death from my vagina. Of course, this turned out to be a bit of a hyperbole. In 5th grade, I received a little booklet about menstruation, the right information. So that made it less scary. I read the book, and kept rolling on. It was no big deal. Much like I suspect this transgender book is. It could be that there is a child who is struggling with thoughts of being misassigned but in reality, most will not identify with the phenomen. Is it good information to have anyway? I think it is. Transgender youth has the highest suicide rate and much of it is caused because they don’t understand their thoughts, they are bullied, and they have no one to confide in…not even parents. Opening this conversation up on our schools could potentially save lives.
It is a fact of life. We can’t just ignore the feelings of our kids. I see no reason to prohibit the very thoughtful story of a transgender youth being read to children in schools. We will see what the parents say on the issue tonight.
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