The same group of Christian bigots that defended the infamous Kim Davis is sticking its nose in another case concerning LGBT issues. The Liberty Council, a Florida-based group that claims to be defending “religious freedom” has pressured a Wisconsin school district to drop a planned reading of a book about a transgender child.
The Capital Times reports that on Monday, November 23, students at the Mount Horeb Primary Center were supposed to read and discuss “I Am Jazz,” a book based on the true experiences of Jazz Jennings, who knew from an early age that she had “a girl’s brain in a boy’s body.” Officials at the school had planned the reading because the school has a student who identifies as a girl but is anatomically male.
Parents were informed of the reading in a letter that was sent home with students on November 19. The letter was signed by the principal, counselor, and school psychologist. The reasons behind the planned reading were explained:
We have been working with the family of a student on your child’s floor who identifies as a girl, but who has male anatomy. We refer to this as having a girl brain and a boy body. Together we have come up with a plan to support this student in living as her authentic self.
We believe all students deserve respect and support regardless of their gender identity and expression, and the best way to foster that respect and support is through educating students about the issue of being transgender. This is why we plan to read and discuss with your child’s class the book, I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings on Monday morning November 23.
So this wasn’t an issue where someone at the school just decided out of the blue to bring up the topic of transgender people with elementary school students. It was a sincere attempt to help the kids understand what their classmate was thinking and feeling, and at the same time show support for the student. But this was apparently too much for the bigots at the Liberty Council.
This group of pathetic human beings sent a letter to the school district superintendent and school board members, complaining that parents only had one business day’s notice of the reading. The five page letter, signed by Liberty Council attorney Richard L. Mast, Jr., ends with the following threat to the school district:
Liberty Counsel is deeply concerned about this impending violation of civil rights, and if this request is ignored, will be tracking in which classes this book is read, and who reads it. If harm results to children, including gender confusion, violations of restroom privacy, or other harms, all options will be explored, including a federal lawsuit against teachers and staff in their official and individual capacities for violation of parental rights. [emphasis in original]
Please govern yourselves accordingly.
On Wednesday afternoon, the district released a statement saying that they were dropping the reading of the book, in order to
allow the Board of Education the opportunity to review the needs of all involved, and address a situation for which the District has no current policy.
Just as with the case of Kim Davis, the Liberty Council is trying to make one thing into another. The group cannot accept the idea that explaining something is not the same as endorsing it, or that understanding and indoctrination are words with very different meanings. But you can sleep well tonight, Mr. and Mrs. Christian bigot America, knowing that groups like the Liberty Council are out there fighting for your “religious freedom,” including the “right” to infringe upon the rights of others.
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