The nation’s largest school district recommended a book about a transgender child for elementary students to read over the summer.
“I am Jazz,” a picture book about transgender activist Jazz Jennings, is featured for students grades 3 to 5 in the New York City Public Schools Literacy Collaborative summer reading guide. The book has been removed from schools around the country since parents have raised concerns over age-appropriateness, according to The National Desk. (‘Students Start Coming Out’: ‘Rainbow Library’ Program Pushes LGBTQ Content To Kids As Young As 5)
One of the most challenged books of the last decade is being recommended to students as young as third grade in New York City for summer reading. https://t.co/Gj7PuMSoog
— The National Desk (@TND) July 10, 2023
The summer reading guide was created and compiled by librarians and educational organizations, the outlet noted. It is also recommended parents read books aloud and have the children read aloud as well, according to the guide.
The story details Jazz’s journey about transitioning from a boy to a girl, including apparent frustrations over wearing boy’s clothes, as well as meeting with a doctor who told Jazz’s parents the child was transgender, according to the book.
“When I was very little, and my mom would say, ‘You’re such a good boy,’ I would say ‘No, Mama, Good GIRL,'” one of the pages from the book reads.
The older Jazz got, the character only wanted to play with “princess and mermaid costumes” instead of “trucks, “tools,” or “superheroes,” according to the book.
After Jazz’s doctor appointment, the parents said, “We understand now. Be who you are. We love you no matter what, ” the book reads.
While many parents have criticized the book in schools, others have supported it being in school libraries in order to advance inclusivity among students, according to The National Desk.
“This book recommendation is not only inappropriate but irresponsible,” Erika Sanzi, Director of Outreach for Parents Defending Education (PDE), told Crisis in the Classroom, per The National Desk.
“This targeted propaganda leaves out the fact that Jazz Jennings continues to struggle with mental health challenges and major complications from gender-related surgeries.”