Mount Horeb school cancels reading of transgender book after lawsuit threat

Nov 29, 2015 by

Ogechi Emechebe –

Around the same time a bill proposing restrictions on school bathrooms for transgender students prompted an emotional public hearing in an Assembly committee last week, one Dane County school made an effort to be more inclusive of a transgender student.

On Monday, students at Mount Horeb Primary Center were scheduled to read and discuss “I Am Jazz,” a children’s book about a transgender girl. A letter was sent out to parents notifying them of the scheduled reading on Nov. 19th. The note, signed by the principal, school psychologist and a counselor, said that the school was working with a student that identifies as a girl but has male anatomy.

“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,” the note reads.

“It is our primary responsibility to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all of our students,” the note says. “Please let us know if you have concerns about your child participating in this discussion; we respect the beliefs and convictions of all families.”

But the reading was cancelled after “concerned parents” contacted the Liberty Counsel, which threatened a lawsuit if the book was read to students, claiming it would be “a violation of parental rights.”

The Florida-based group describes itself as a “non-profit litigation, education and policy organization with an emphasis on religious liberty issues.” The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Liberty Counsel as a hate group that advocates for “anti-LGBT discrimination, under the guise of religious liberty.”

Source: Mount Horeb school cancels reading of transgender book after lawsuit threat | Local Education | host.madison.com

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