Promoted by the school’s guidance counselor,Dana Richerich, early childhood students (grades K-3) at Mitchell Primary School were introduced to the book I Am Jazz, a short story about a transgender child “with a boy’s body but a girl’s brain.” Richerich posted a blog back in Febuary arguing that primary schools should address issues surrounding lesbian,gay bisexual, transgender,queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) students to “create a safe and supportive school environment.” One parent, however, argued against the book being read because it prompted her 7-year-old son to start questioning whether he might be transgender.
The controversy was amplified during a “Trouble With Schools” segment of Fox & Friends. Fox pundit Tammy Bruce argued that it was completely unacceptable to promote this school lesson because being transgender made as much sense to children as pretending they were a “cocker spaniel.” Hazing expert Dr. Susan Lipkins also disagreed with the school’s decision and told Fox & Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck:
I don’t think that kids need to know this or should be knowing this. It is completely confusing to them. As a feminist and also as a victim activist, I think that it is insane to say that somebody has a boy’s body and a girl’s brain. What’s a girl’s brain?
Bruce, who is a lesbian, added that teaching primary school students about transgender people “was about the projection of our issues as adults onto children.” She says:
You know, look, at a point when I was a child, I thought I was a cocker spaniel. And there’s a point when we have these fantasies where we think we’re Superman, where we can fly, where we’re the cat. This is childhood. And this is why this is particularly troubling.
Well, it can’t be all that troubling since the Maine Supreme Court’s decision in 2014 guaranteed transgender students recognition in schools, giving the opportunity for staff, students, parents, and communities to learn more and respect differences.
You can watch the Fox & Friends edition of “Trouble With Schools” via Media Matters, below:
Featured Image: Video Screenshot