Parents flooded a standing-room-only school board meeting in Rocklin, Calif., Monday night for an emotional discussion about one teacher's decision to read books on transgenderism to a class of kindergartners.
As the previous school year drew to a close earlier this summer, the teacher in question read two books that addressed transgenderism to her class of kindergarten students at Rocklin Academy.
One of the books the teacher read students, "I Am Jazz," is the story of transgender activist Jazz Jennings, the star of a reality show on TLC. The book includes an illustration of a feminine child drawing a mermaid that's captioned, "I have a girl brain but a boy body. This is called transgender. I was born this way!"
The books were given to the teacher by a transgender pupil who "at some point during class also changed clothes and was revealed as her true gender," according to CBS Sacramento.
Given that this occurred in a class of five and six-year-old kindergartners, not teenagers or adults, many returned home with serious questions.
"My daughter came home crying and shaking so afraid she could turn into a boy," one parent explained at the meeting. "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," said another.
Unlike content on sex education, educators at Rocklin Academy are not required to provide parental notice before teaching content on "gender identity."
That a teacher thought it was wise to broach the topic of transgenderism to a class of five and six-year-olds without notifying their parents is unfortunate. These students were young, and progressive notions of "gender identity" are unfamiliar even to some adults, many of whom probably would not endorse or teach their children the themes in "I Am Jazz" at any age.
There are appropriate ways to nurture students struggling with their sex -- preaching on transgenderism to a room full of children barely old enough to read without even asking their parents for permission is not one of them.
Hopefully the teacher in question, and other educators around the country, learn from this mistake.
Given the outpouring of backlash at Monday's meeting, the school board added the topic to its agenda for discussion when members convene again next month.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.