A Wisconsin school has cancelled a scheduled reading of Jazz Jennings’ children’s book, I Am Jazz, after the Liberty Counsel, a conservative Florida-based group, threatened to sue. The book, an illustrated autobiography of sorts, tells the story of 15-year-old Jennings, reality star and trans activist, is aimed at explaining gender identity in a manner accessible to young children.
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.”
Though the school seems to have provided the parents with an option to opt their children out of the reading, that clearly wasn’t enough for a handful of parents. After the note was sent, a group of parents contacted the Liberty Counsel, a group best known for suing over the Harry Potter books and representing Kim Davis, claiming a “violation of parental rights.”
The group threatened to sue and the school cancelled the reading. In a statement issued on Wednesday the school said:
“As we seek to address the specific needs of the individual student, the District will also be mindful of the needs of other District students and families, and will strive to keep all of the families whose children may be affected apprised of future actions by the District. Please know that our continuing goal is to protect all students from any bullying, harassing or intimidating behavior at school so that all of our students may learn together in a safe and caring environment.”
And yet again, the abstract concept of parental rights is preserved at the expense of a real and actual child.
Image via Getty.