A Missouri elementary school allowed a parent to read the transgender-promoting children’s book “I Am Jazz” to a second-grade class without first informing other parents, although state law requires school districts to notify parents beforehand about lessons on sexuality.
Webster Groves School District, located in the suburbs of St. Louis, allowed the parent to read “I Am Jazz” to the second graders in September as part of Clark Elementary School’s “Mystery Reader” program, where a family member surprises a child by reading to the class.
A student’s parent asked for permission to read the book, and the school approved the request. But the school chose not to inform the parents of other students, a parent activist told The Daily Signal, although Missouri law requires schools to inform parents of any classroom content on human sexuality.
School districts must notify parents of the “basic content of the district’s or school’s human sexuality instruction to be provided to the student” and a “parent’s right to remove the student from any part of the district’s or school’s human sexuality instruction,” the 2018 law states.
Because other parents didn’t know about the classroom reading of “I Am Jazz,” they couldn’t opt their 7-year-olds out of learning about transgenderism at school.
The district’s superintendent, John Simpson, did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment about the incident.
“I Am Jazz” is the story of transgender-identifying biological male Jazz Jennings. It is rated as age-appropriate for children aged 4 and up. The book says that from the age of 2, Jazz liked the color pink, dressing up as a mermaid, and wearing girls’ clothes.
“I have a girl brain but a boy body. This is called transgender,” the book, told from Jazz’s perspective, reads. “I was born this way!”
The parent activist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect his children from bullying at school, said he was not surprised by the “I Am Jazz” incident.
“The culture among admin and staff is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at any cost,” he told The Daily Signal. “They cannot see the possible downside of educating children on topics of sexual and gender ideology at such a young age.”
Derek Duncan, communications director for the Webster Groves School District, said the district doesn’t believe it broke the law with the classroom reading of “I Am Jazz.”
“While we don’t believe this violates the law, we are aware of this situation and have appropriately addressed it,” Duncan told The Daily Signal in an email.
Duncan did not elaborate when asked.
The Webster Groves district, with 10 schools and more than 4,400 students, has a history of pushing radical gender ideology on children. Also in September, a high school librarian encouraged students to check out sexually explicit books from her list of commonly banned books and enter a raffle for a “sweet prize.”
The school district also plans to include the personal pronouns “they/them” in math problems and hire certified teachers as “math interventionists” to fight racism and gender bias in math classes, following a curriculum evaluation.
One family was upset when their second grader came from school saying she had learned that boy bodies can have girl brains and vice versa. After the family expressed concerns, the teacher included two brief sentences about the classroom reading of “I Am Jazz” in a longer email to parents.
“Last week we read the book I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas,” reads a copy of the email obtained by The Daily Signal. “In the book, Jazz shares her transgender experience.”
Although Missouri law doesn’t mandate sex education in public schools, the Webster Groves School District begins teaching children about gender identity early in elementary school.
First graders learn about gender expression through the children’s book “My Princess Boy,” according to a copy of the curriculum obtained by The Daily Signal. The parent activist said the district makes its sex education curriculum available upon request.
Told from a mom’s perspective, “My Princess Boy” is the story of a little boy who loves “pink and sparkly things” and “sometimes wears dresses” and “his princess tiara.”
“And a Princess Boy can wear pink and I will tell him how pretty he looks,” the boy’s mother says.
“If you see a Princess Boy … Will you laugh at him? Will you call him a name? Will you play with him? Will you like him for who he is?” the children’s book asks young readers.
Webster Groves fifth graders learn about gender identity and expression. They play a “guess the gender” game based on the behavior of pretend children.
“Gender identity refers to the way people see themselves in relation to being male or female or a combination,” the curriculum for 10-year-olds says. “It comes from a person’s own inner thoughts and feelings. It may or may not match the way others see them.”
Sixth graders learn about gender with a graphic depicting the “gender bread” person, which defines transgender as “a person who does not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth.” The “gender bread” graphic also defines “assigned male,” “assigned female,” and “nonbinary.”
The “gender bread” graphic defines “gender fluid” as “someone with a non-fixed gender identity [who] can switch back and forth.”
Teachers tell seventh graders that “gender exists on a spectrum” and instruct them not to “make assumptions about gender,” to “use preferred names and pronouns,” and “be a friend or ally.”
“Gender identity has to do with the way you feel about yourself,” reads a different cartoon shown to seventh graders in Webster Groves schools. “Sexual orientation is based on the way you feel toward others.”
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