From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz’s story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.
The Rocklin Academy school board is facing tough questions from parents concerned over a controversial incident involving transgender discussions inside a kindergarten class.
“These parents feel betrayed by the school district that they were not notified,” said Karen England with the Capitol Resource Institute.
The incident happened earlier this summer during the last few days of the academic school year.
At Monday night’s board meeting, the teacher at the center of the controversy spoke out. With emotions high, she addressed a packed house.
“I’m so proud of my students, it was never my intent to harm any students but to help them through a difficult situation,” she said.
The teacher defended her actions to read two children’s books about transgenderism including one titled “I am Jazz.” She says the books were given to her by a transgender child going through a transition.
“The kindergartners came home very confused, about whether or not you can pick your gender, whether or not they really were a boy or a girl,” said England.
Parents say besides the books, the transgender student at some point during class also changed clothes and was revealed as her true gender.
And many parents say they feel betrayed and blindsided.
“I want her to hear from me as a parent what her gender identity means to her and our family, not from a book that may be controversial,” a parent said.
“My daughter came home crying and shaking so afraid she could turn into a boy,” another parent said.